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From YouTube: Call to Stop Accelerated Roll-out of Universal Credit - 7 September 2017


Members' Business
Debate on the subject of—
S5M-07056 Alex Rowley: Support for Citizens Advice Scotland's Call to Stop Accelerated
Roll-out of Universal Credit—That the Parliament notes with concern the reported evidence from
Citizens Advice Bureaux regarding the initial roll-out areas in Scotland, and elsewhere in the UK,
which it believes highlights that the reality of universal credit risks leaving many people in Scotland
without the support they need, pushing them into debt and leaving them unable to make ends
meet; is further concerned that Citizens Advice Scotland, it understands, has reported that
evidence from initial roll-out areas shows that, since universal credit was introduced, bureaux have
seen a 15% rise in rent arrears issues compared to a national decrease of 2%, and an 87%
increase in Crisis Grant issues compared to a national increase of 9%, and that two of the five
bureaux in impacted areas have seen a 40% and 70% increase in advice about access to food
banks, compared to a national increase of 3%; notes the call from Citizens Advice Scotland and a
host of antipoverty organisations across Scotland for the UK Government to pause the accelerated
roll-out of universal credit until the reported design and delivery problems have been addressed;
notes the comments from the Chair of Citizens Advice Scotland, Rory Mair, that “universal credit
has major delivery and design flaws which risk hurting families instead of helping them. These
include long waits for payments that push people into crisis and debt, all the while battling a highly
complicated process with little support”; considers that it is not right to proceed with the
accelerated roll-out of universal credit in the knowledge that it will, it believes, result in tens of
thousands of men, women and children in the Mid Scotland and Fife region and across Scotland
being driven into debt and rent arrears and having to turn to foodbanks just to survive, and notes
the calls on the UK Government to pause the process, listen to the evidence and act accordingly
to address the issues.

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