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Issues - My policy positions

Issues - My policy positions

Universal Credit

The Tories roll-out of Universal Credit is having an absolutely catastrophic impact on people’s lives, pushing them into poverty, debt and destitution.

We do not disagree with the principle of Universal Credit, but the Tory approach has been to use their flagship welfare reform as an excuse to make savage cuts to the social security budget – impacting the most disadvantaged people in our society.

The way Universal Credit roll-out is being handled, the Government are simply being wilfully ignorant when they say 'Universal Credit is working'.

It is clear that DWP is in total disarray when it comes to the roll-out of Universal Credit – as it has been announced that the completion date for the full roll-out is being delayed again to December 2023.

This proves that their project is falling to pieces, all the while pushing people into crisis.

In Scotland, Universal Credit Scottish Choices means the Scottish Government is doing what they can with the limited powers available. Everyone receiving full service Universal Credit across Scotland is now able to choose if they want to be paid twice monthly and they will also have the option to have the housing element of their Universal Credit award paid directly to their landlords. This allows more people to have greater control over their household budget.

However, this offering in no way fixes many of the problems with the Universal Credit roll-out.

We in the SNP have said time and time again that the current system of Universal Credit is not fit for purpose and the roll-out must be immediately halted before more damage is caused to people.

Tags: benefit

Carers credits


New figures show that 4,000 people claimed carers credits in 2016/17 out of the 160,000 who could have done so.

If you are under state pension age and care for someone for at least 20 hours a week, you can claim a credit to help to ensure you get a full state pension when you retire.

One year of credits could fill a gap that could mean an extra £237 a year on a state pension if your pension contributions record is inadequate. Or it could boost a pension, in some circumstances, even if you already have 35 years' contributions.

To get these credits you must be caring for at least 20 hours a week for someone who gets one of the main non-means-tested disability benefits, such as attendance allowance or personal independence payment at the standard or enhanced rate.

Visit and search "carer's credit".

Tags: benefit

Pension Credits


It's come to my attention that some constituents could be missing out on Pension Credit, with an average claim being worth about £2,000 a year.

Whilst each family entitled to the benefit, the DWP have said up to 1.4 million people on low income are missing out on a top-up to their state pension, with £3.3bn of Pension Credit still going unclaimed.

With around 1.9 million pensioners in the UK in poverty, it is deeply troubling that such a large number of these benefits remain unclaimed.

I would therefore urge people to talk to friends, relatives and neighbours to ensure they are claiming Pension Credit.

To check your full entitlement it's best to call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 991 234, Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm, or visit, where a calculator can establish whether you may be eligible and how much you could receive.

Tags: benefit

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