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MSP calls for end to five week Universal Credit wait

A Forth Valley MSP has slammed the five week wait for Universal Credit payments, calling it “unnecessary and unacceptable”.

Keith Brown has written to the Minister of State for employment highlighting the rise in Clackmannanshire foodbank use, following the benefit rollout in 2015.

Across Scotland last year, the number of emergency food parcels increased by 23%.

Commenting, SNP MSP Keith Brown said, “The hardship inflicted on Universal Credit claimants by the five week delay is completely unjustifiable and has the predictable result of forcing many into poverty.

“It is completely unjustifiable that people in a country as rich as ours should be forced to use foodbanks, or have to choose between heating or eating.

“The SNP have been clear on this- the Tories must halt the roll out of this disastrous policy and put an end to the five week delay, immediately.

“The contrast between this and the Scottish Government’s approach to social security- with dignity and respect at its core- could not be clearer.

“The only way to ensure people are not punished by this Westminster Government is independence for Scotland.”

A Scottish Conservative spokesperson responded,  “The SNP Scottish Government refuses to take the powers it has available to administer a whole range of benefits and keeps pushing back the date it says it will do so.

“They have no credibility on this issue. All they can do is avoid responsibility and blame Westminster as usual.

“We are especially disappointed with the continued scaremongering on Universal Credit, Mr Brown should be more responsible rather than trying to score a few political points and use it as an excuse to go on about independence.

“He knows there are advance payments available so no one has to wait for their money.”

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