Holyrood - Edinburgh. Photo credit: DSC_0696 via photopin (license)

Third sector groups have today welcomed the Scottish Government’s introduction of flexibilities to the system of Universal Credit (UC) brought about by the Tories.

The increased choice on how UC payments are made in Scotland, including the option to have payments made direct to landlords and the option of twice monthly payments, was commended by stakeholders.

Mary Taylor, chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, has said: “Even before our involvement in the Smith Commission Stakeholder Group, we had been campaigning for the housing element of Universal Credit to be able to be paid directly to our members, as has been the case with housing benefit…

“Together with our members, we stand ready to work with the Scottish Government and others to shape Scotland’s new social security system and ensure that the most vulnerable people in our country are treated with dignity, fairness and respect.”

John Downie, director of public affairs at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, has said: “The decision to increase the frequency of Universal Credit payments and to offer the option of paying the housing element direct to landlords is a welcome one and reflects suggestions SCVO made in both our consultation response and the evidence we gave to the Social Security Committee.”

Commenting Social Security Committee member in Holyrood, George Adam MSP, said: “The SNP Government has been busy gathering views to better understand the issues facing those affected by the Tories’ punitive welfare system – with the aim of doing as much as possible with the devolved powers in Scotland to shape an informed and effective social security system.

“The consultative approach of the Scottish Government to ensure the right measures are in place is a really sensible approach.

“The new flexibilities on when Universal Credit payments are made and the very welcome news that payments can be made direct to all landlords is very welcome – and reflects a government that listens and responds to people.

“This Government’s attitude to social security is in sharp contrast to the Tory government’s shameful and thoughtless attitude to welfare.”

This is an official press release from the Scottish National Party (SNP).