Johnstone criticises UK Gov for extending Universal Credit to Edinburgh with problems still not resolved

Scottish Greens have criticised the UK Government for extending the Universal Credit roll-out in Edinburgh when problems with the new system still have not yet been resolved.

The Universal Credit ‘Full Service’ will be available to new applicants and current recipients whose circumstances change from tomorrow (28th November).

Given the current 5-week wait, new applicants will not be paid any support until after Christmas. Any advances requested must be paid back from future payments.

Greens have slammed the new benefits system for failing to meet earlier promises that the system would not be less generous that the benefits it replaces; for causing rent arrears and leaving families needing assistance on food banks.

Green Social Security Spokesperson and Lothian MSP Alison Johnstone said today:

“Despite warnings to pause the roll-out from welfare rights organisations, Local Authorities, academic experts and opposition parties, more people in Edinburgh will be exposed to this shambolic system, and just before Christmas, when pressures on family budgets are at their tightest.

"Universal Credit doesn’t have to be this way. It can pay people enough to live a decent life, pay out when people need it, and properly support people when they are struggling without a job or on low pay.

"It is time to pause and properly fund and fix Universal Credit, before it causes any more misery, both in Edinburgh and nationwide.”