‘Carers will suffer under Universal Credit system’
The rollout of Universal Credit will make it “impossible” for carers to avoid losing money, a charity campaigner told MSPs.
Bill Scott, policy director of disability charity Inclusion Scotland, said those who provide help and assistance for a family member or loved one face losing their Carer’s Allowance payments if they work more than 16 hours a week.
But he went on to state that under Universal Credit rules, they risked seeing their money cut if they work fewer than 16 hours a week.
MSPs spoke out as Mr Scott gave evidence to Holyrood’s social security committee, telling MSPs about the impact of the conditionality regime that is part of Universal Credit.
He stated: “Carers are in a catch-22 situation where if they claim Universal Credit, which they must do under full rollout, then they cannot work more than 16 hours a week without losing their Carer’s Allowance and their status as carers.
“But if they work under 16 hours they are subject to conditionality to increase their hours to over the 16hour limit.”
SNP MSP George Adam hit out: “Universal Credit is a callous benefit change that has caused devastation in people’s lives. Yes there is a responsibility here in this place but responsibility needs to be taken up by those in Westminster as well for the fact that they are the ones causing the human carnage as we speak.”
But Tory MSP Adam Tomkins argued: “There is no question here of the Scottish Government being required to mitigate what Mr Adam described as the ‘carnage’ of DWP policy.
“It is being devolved in full so it will be for the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament to decide if it wishes to continue that 16-hour rule in the new devolved Carer’s Allowance.”
“It will be for the Scottish Parliament to decide”