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Designing a Social Security System for Scotland: Universal Credit flexibilities

Powers over certain elements of Universal Credit will be devolved to Scotland. This report sets the findings of a survey of CAB clients on how they currently budget and would prefer to receive payments, and makes recommendations for how the new devolved powers could be used.

To find out what would work best for people who need support from Universal Credit (UC), we surveyed 601 CAB clients across the country, most of whom currently receive one of the benefits being replaced by UC. We asked them how they currently budgeted, how they coped on the income they received and how they would prefer to receive payments if they had the choice.

Based on what CAB clients told us, CAS recommends:

  • Claimants are given the choice of being paid Universal Credit weekly, fortnightly or monthly
  • Couples who claim Universal Credit are given the choice of whether they would prefer a single household payment or individual payments to each partner
  • The Scottish Government permanently removes the Bedroom Tax in Universal Credit when it gets the power to do so
  • The housing element of Universal Credit is paid in the same way as Housing Benefit currently is, with claimants able to have housing payments made directly to social landlords.
Rob Gowans
Publication date
December 2015
Publication type