Scottish Liberal Democrat deputy leader Alistair Carmichael MP has today challenged the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to think again about the way in which Universal Credit works.
The new benefits system that has been gradually rolled out is leaving almost 57% having to borrow money in order to make ends meet according to research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The research also showed that one in ten have to wait longer than ten weeks before receiving anything through the system.
Commenting after the exchange, Mr. Carmichael said:
“Universal Credit is clearly not working well on the ground. It must be wrong that three in every five Universal Credit claimants have to borrow money just to keep them afloat in the first six weeks of their claim.
"A free helpline, at least until the roll-out is complete, removal of the seven day waiting period, and removing the two child cap on benefits claims, are all essential steps if Universal Credit is to succeed in helping people back to work.
“I was disappointed that the Minister didn't go further and commit to rethinking Universal Credit, making it a system that works for struggling families across the country.”