Given that Universal Credit will eventually be received by around 652,500 households in Scotland, and that a significant number of early issues have affected CAB clients, it is a high priority for CAS policy work. As Universal Credit integrates in-work and out-of-work benefits, this includes assessing the impact of UC on working households, including to what extent it meets its original aim of ‘making work pay’.
The rising level of in-work poverty during the last five years has also been a concern for CAS. According to the latest official figures, 59% of working-age adults in relative poverty after housing costs were living in working households. Citizens Advice Scotland has previously published research on some of the causes of in-work poverty in Scotland, including the rise of zero hours contracts, low pay, childcare costs as well as issues with the benefits system.