Universal Credit roll-out inquiry

 

About the Inquiry

Universal Credit (UC) is currently expected to be fully rolled out by 2022. UC will replace six working age benefits:

• Income Support (DWP)
• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (DWP)
• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (DWP)
• Working Tax Credit (HMRC)
• Child Tax Credit (HMRC)
• Housing Benefit for most claimants (Local Authorities).

Aims of the inquiry

The aims of the inquiry are to consider:

• What lessons are there from the early roll-out areas?
• What improvements could be made in the process?
• What are the issues that need to be resolved?

Evidence

On 10 November 2016, the Committee took evidence from: 

  • Rob Gowans, Policy Officer, Citizens Advice Scotland; 
  • Archie Campbell, Benefits Representative, Musselburgh Citizens Advice Bureau;
  • Kyna Reeves, Individual Advocacy Worker, CAPS Independent Advocacy;
  • Sheila McKandie, Benefits & Welfare Manager, Highland Council;
  • Andrina Hunter, Service Manager, Health and Social Care Partnership, Inverclyde Council;
  • John Cunningham, Service Manager – Benefits and Financial Assessments, East Lothian Council.

 Read the meeting papers and the Official Report

On 15 December 2016, the Committee took further evidence from:

  • Neil Couling, Universal Credit Director General;
  • Denise Horsfall, Scotland Work Services Director, Department for Work and Pensions

 Read the meeting papers and the Official Report

Visits and Events

The Committee visited Musselburgh job centre on Monday 28 November 2016 as part of its inquiry. Musselburgh job centre is one of the first areas in Scotland to roll out Universal Credit. Committee members spoke to job centre staff and those administering the system to find out more about it and where improvements could be made. 

The Committee visited Musselburgh again on Thursday 19 January 2017.  It held an informal event at Brunton Halls which gave Committee members the opportunity to speak directly with claimants about their experience of Universal Credit.

Correspondence