Edinburgh Council moves to ease universal credit strain

Dreary weather coincided with a dreary outlook for universal credit. Photo: Gus Kubiak

By Louise Wylie

Edinburgh City Council has set aside £3 million to mitigate the effects of the Universal Credit roll-out which will leave recipients without a benefit payment until the New Year.

Freedom of information requests have revealed that local authorities across Scotland have already spent £24 million to support people on Universal Credit.

SNP MSP for Edinburgh Northern and Leith, Ben Macpherson said: “These latest eye-watering figures show that the City of Edinburgh Council has had to put aside £3 million to mitigate the effects of this disastrous Tory UK Government policy, which is being imposed on Scotland.

“That is fundamentally unfair. Universal Credit is currently a broken system – it’s leaving people destitute, driving children into poverty and forcing families to rely on foodbanks.”

The new benefits system started its Edinburgh roll-out last week, as foodbanks prepare for increased demand.

The Trussell Trust have said they expect this December to be the busiest for foodbank use since records began.

Their statistics claim that 12 months after the introduction of Universal Credit in certain areas of the UK, food bank use has increased by 52% on average.