Universal Credit – New powers for Scotland

The Scottish Government is committed to building a fairer Scotland and tackling inequalities. This will mean tackling deep seated issues, not looking for quick fixes or temporary measures. Achieving genuine change will take time.  It will also require collective effort and a shared vision of what a fair and equal Scotland should look like in the years to come. 
 
A key part of moving toward a fairer Scotland will be how we implement the new powers that will be devolved to Scotland following the Smith Commission recommendations. These were published following the Scottish independence referendum. 
 
The Scotland Bill gives Scotland new powers to make changes over how Universal Credit is paid, which will eventually affect over 700,000 households across the country.

The Scottish Government wants claimants to be given the choice of having their Universal Credit payments made twice a month rather than once a month, as the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) plan.

We also want payment of the housing element to be made direct to landlords, for all new Universal Credit claims, where the claimant is renting from a social landlord.

We are seeking views of people who have an interest in and are affected by the powers to come. We are particularly interested in the views of people with direct experience of Universal Credit, including individual recipients and local organisations.  This Dialogue is open until 2 October 2015.
 
Questions

  • Do you think that Universal Credit claimants in Scotland should be given a choice to the frequency in which they receive their payments?  i.e. payments monthly or twice monthly? Please explain your reasoning.
     
  • How do you think that Universal Credits should be paid out when a claimant has a social landlord?  i.e. should the Universal Credit be paid directly to the land lord? - If so, should the claimant have a choice about that?  Please explain your answer.

Your answers will help Scottish Government to decide how to make these changes so that they offer the best possible service for Universal Credit claimants in Scotland. We want to hear from you!

Learn more about developing proposals on new social security powers here.

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