The number of Scottish households seeking help with rent arrears has increased by a shocking 47% over the last five years, according to new evidence published by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).
In a new report, CAS finds that changes to the social security system are driving an increase in the number of people experiencing rent arrears and cite Universal Credit as one of the biggest causes.
CAS highlight how rent arrears have soared since the introduction of the Tories’ flagship welfare reform, which merges six legacy benefits into one single monthly payment.
Commenting on the report’s findings, CAS spokesman Rob Gowans said: “The rise in rent arrears is one of the most worrying trends we see across the CAB network at the moment.
“While there are a number of factors driving this, we have no doubt that the flaws in Universal Credit are one of the main ones.
“For the past 18 months we have been calling for a halt and fix to Universal Credit. Some welcome changes have been made but many of the problems still remain and this report shows the impact these are having on peoples’ lives.
“We have set out again today the key flaws that need to be addressed, including reducing the waiting period before payment, cutting out processing delays and reducing deductions. These are relatively simple changes that could make a huge difference to millions of people.”
“In our report we also set out other causes of rent arrears, such as rent increases, low wages and lack of support for those in need. All of these need to be addressed as well as Universal Credit, and we will continue to work to highlight these problems and help find solutions.”