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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5O-01358
Asked by: Maree Todd, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 18 October 2017

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the UK Government regarding the Scottish Parliament’s call to halt the rollout of universal credit.

Current status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 25 October 2017


Answer

On 28 September I wrote, jointly with CoSLA, to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to highlight further substantive evidence of the abject failures in the Universal Credit system and demand a halt to the full service roll-out until the fundamental flaws can be fixed. David Gauke has not responded directly to our joint letter, and the UK Government has not engaged with us in any meaningful way, in response to our previous calls to halt the roll out.

The UK Government also continues to ignore the many calls from the Scottish Government, this Parliament, councils, charities and housing associations and, indeed the UK Parliament, which voted overwhelming last Wednesday to pause Universal Credit.

The announcements by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to refresh DWP guidance so advance payments of Universal Credit, loans, are offered upfront, and ending the Universal Credit helpline charges, does nothing to fix the many problems of Universal Credit including the 6 week delay in receiving a first payment.