Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) believe the Universal Credit (UC) system must change if the benefit is to work for citizens across Scotland and the rest of the UK. CAS has consistently sought to work with the government to address the problematic aspects of the UC system. In this Budget submission, CAS sets out two policy recommendations that would improve UC for people in-work.
Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) data, including Citizen Alerts (cases from local CAB), have shown clear issues for people who are working and on UC. Particularly, that people are often working and living with an income that is too low to meet the cost of living. Ensuring that UC makes work pay was central to the original policy aims of UC. However, this is not the reality for people who are working, are on UC and are finding themselves accessing CAB for financial advice.
To improve UC for people in-work, CAS calls on the government to announce two key changes in the forthcoming Budget:
1. Introduce a Work Allowance for all claimants
2. Reduce the Taper Rate to allow workers to keep more of what they earn