Today Engender have welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to offer individual, not household, payments of Universal Credit.
The announcement from Jeane Freeman, Minister for Social Security, came as the Scottish Government published their response to the consultation on social security in Scotland. 88% of the respondents to the Government’s consultation called for the splitting of Universal Credit payments, largely based on a desire to prevent power imbalances in relationships.
We, along with Scottish Women's Aid, Close the Gap, Carers Scotland and the Scottish Refugee Council have long been calling for the Scottish Government to use devolved powers over social security to offer individual payments of Universal Credit.
Engender’s Executive Director, Emma Ritch, said:
The Scottish Government document cites tackling violence against women as a key reason behind the decision to consider split payments. Marsha Scott, Chief Executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, which supported the calls for individual payments of Universal Credit, said:
Engender also welcomed key announcements in the Government response, such as the commitment to human rights, the introduction of a charter, and working towards person-centred approaches to administering payments. They were disappointed, however, not to see equality appear in the preamble to the bill, with Emma Ritch saying:
The Scottish Government’s Response to the Consultation can be accessed here and the specific reference to Universal Credit can be found on page 17.
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