Up to 700,000 households to benefit from flexible Universal Credit payments

Jeane Freeman
Jeane Freeman

The Scottish Government’s plans to introduce flexible Universal Credit payments will benefit up to 700,000 households, it has been revealed.

Under proposals unveiled earlier this month by social security minister Jeane Freeman, ministers will use new powers to give claimants the option to be paid fortnightly instead of monthly.

The government also plans to offer tenants in the private rented sector as well as those in social housing the option to pay housing benefits direct to landlords rather than via claimants.

The reforms mark the first use of new social security powers under the Scotland Act 2016.

In the answer to a parliamentary question by SNP MSP Graeme Dey, Ms Freeman confirmed that the Scottish Government expects between 650,000 and 700,000 households to benefit from these flexibilities by the end of the Universal Credit roll out in 2022.

Mr Dey said: “While the majority of social security powers remain reserved to Westminster, we’re determined to use our powers to make the system fairer where we can.

“These reforms will provide the flexibility that claimants have told us they needed, and in doing so it will help hundreds of thousands of families to manage their household budgets.

“And with our welfare powers we’ll scrap sanctions from employability programmes – putting dignity, fairness and respect at the heart of our social security system.”

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