Scottish Government commits to splitting payments of Universal Credit
Date Posted: Tuesday 28th February 2017
The Women’s Budget Group UK welcomes the Scottish Government commitment to offering individual, not household, payments of Universal Credit. The UK government is yet to commit to individual payments, and we strongly call on them to follow the Scottish example. The current UK policy, to pay joint awards to one individual in a couple, is discriminatory and inhibits gender equality on a number of levels potentially leading to increase financial dependency, facilitating domestic abuse, and increasing power imbalance.
A recent paper by Scottish-based organisation Engender finds that:
“…the current UK system is failing, and further excluding, those who need it the most, including many groups of women, disabled people, unpaid carers, lone parents and refugee communities. It is also exacerbating existing inequality, including between women and men. Single household payments of Universal Credit will compound this.”
The announcement of split payment of Universal Credit in Scotland 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.
Find out more about what else was included in the response here.