Social Security Powers

Today, the Scottish Government have announced Universal Credit payments in Scotland are to become more frequent and adaptable.

Alongside this, tenants will have the choice of having the housing element of Universal Credit payments made directly to landlords and, in a new move, Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman has announced this new flexibility will be available for tenants in the private rented sector as well as those in social housing.

The use of new flexibilities around Universal Credit payments – the benefit remains reserved – marks the first use of new social security powers under the Scotland Act 2016, with a consultation to be launched later this month on the necessary regulations.

New applicants who live in Full Service areas – local authority areas where a digital claiming system has been established by the UK Government – will be given the option of twice-monthly payments instead of the DWP’s current monthly payment system.

I’m pleased to learn the Scottish Government is to make universal credit payments more frequent as this issue was raised with me at a recent meeting with Children Poverty Action Group in Scotland.

Alongside this, the news that tenants will have the choice of having their housing element payments made directly to landlords is a sensible solution which should help prevent rent arrears occurring.

I recently had the opportunity to meet with Jobcentre Plus staff to undertake Universal Credit awareness training, as the system is now live in Inverclyde.  They informed me that the Future Skills direct line can be contacted on 01475 788 915.