Banff and Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has slammed the Tory UK Government for wasting £500million as a result of delays and problems in rolling out and getting right the implementation of Universal Credit.
Universal Credit - which was due to be fully rolled out by 2017 - has now been delayed on numerous occasions to a new date in late 2024, adding a staggering £500million to the total cost of the policy.
Commenting, Mr Stevenson said: “This further delay is of little surprise as Universal Credit continues to be beset by problems and scandals - it highlights just how far the UK Government is from getting Universal Credit right that they need to enforce this delay to avoid causing further hardships to those in receipt of the benefit.
“There also seems to be a complete lack of clarity from the Department for Work and Pensions on whether this delay will mean that more people will be part of natural migration rather than the managed migration process, risking people losing out on transitional payments and saving the UK Government money at the expense of those who really need it.
"It should shame the Tories that the continued delays and issues surrounding Universal Credit have added a staggering £500m to its total cost, while families on UC having to turn to food banks to survive.
“The UK Government should use this delay productively by making a meaningful investment in Universal Credit to see it fixed, such as scrapping the two child cap and rape clause, ending the debt and poverty-inducing five week wait, and making work pay by fully restoring the Work Allowance.
“In Scotland, we are taking a different approach and building a social security system based on fairness, dignity and respect – it’s time the Tories followed suit.”