Concern as universal credit system rolls out
Citizens Advice boss puts more advisors in place
The highly controversial universal credit scheme was rolled out in Rutherglen and Cambuslang Jobcentre venues this week.
New single jobseekers in Rutherglen and Cambuslang who rent accommodation will be able to claim universal credit from the start of this week.
According to the government, it is a revolutionary new benefit simplifying the welfare system.
Bu t Ru t h e r g l e n and Cambuslang Citizens Advice Bureau are gearing up for a flood of cases when the new system starts.
CAB manager Sharon Hampson said: “Universal credits will replace means tested benefits such as jobseekers allowance, employment and support allowance, housing benefit, working / child tax credits and income support.
“The government claim it incentivises jobseekers, helping people to be better off in work.”
But Sharon says that Rutherglen and Cambuslang bureau are expecting over the next year to have a substantial increase in clients.
“We are expecting that this will be mainly due to the governments ‘digital by default’ stance, which does not take into consideration the people in the community who do not have access or cannot afford internet access.
“There are also those people who whoarenotfullycomputerliterateare not fully computer literate and are placed at a disadvantage with this policy.
“To cover this, I have increased our volunteers daily so we can have approximately six in the morning and six in the afternoon,” said Sharon.
“We would encourage anyone who feels they are going to be affected by the changes brought about by universal credits to come to Rutherglen and Cambuslang Bureau or one of our many outreach facilities, and we can assist by providing a benefit check,” she added.
The government, however, are convinced the latest move will be beneficial to people.
Latest research, they say, shows that universal credit claimants spend more time looking for work, move into work quicker and stay in jobs for longer compared to those on jobseeker’s allowance.
Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud said: “Universal credit is a revolution in welfare – a system that, for the first time, supports people both in and out of work.
“Under Universal Credit we are helping to create a higher wage, lower tax, and lower welfare society, with people moving into jobs faster, and able to increase their earnings safe in the knowledge that they are better off in work.”
I have increased our volunteers daily
Revolution Lord Freud (left) on Universal Credit scheme, which will hit Jobcentres this week
Universal cause for concern CAB manager Sharon Hampson