‘Car­ers will suf­fer un­der Uni­ver­sal Credit sys­tem’

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS -

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

“It will be for the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment to de­cide”

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.”

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