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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Rollout of Universal Credit Shows Westminster is Failing to Listen

Monday, 16 February 2015

As the rollout of Universal Credit begins at 150 jobcentres across the UK, the Westminster Government has been accused of a complete failure to listen.

Numerous welfare organisations have called for the rollout of Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments to be halted until plans to devolve some welfare powers to Scotland are carried out.

Last month, 56 charity organisations in Scotland wrote to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith calling for the rollout of Universal Credit to be halted until the process of legislating for new welfare powers for Scotland is completed.

Despite these calls, the rollout of Universal Credit has continued with 150 job centres moving over to the benefit from today (Monday).

Commenting, SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“As the rollout of Universal Credit steps up a gear today, the Westminster Government has once again shown that it is completely incapable of listening.

“Extensive evidence has been put forward by charity organisations from across Scotland that the rollout should be stopped while powers are transferred, but Iain Duncan Smith refuses to act.

“With charity organisations on the front line of dealing with Westminster’s welfare cuts simply being ignored, it is clearer than ever that Westminster cannot be trusted to make decisions over welfare on Scotland’s behalf.

“Of course the fact is that the current proposals for welfare devolution go nowhere near far enough and leave far too much control in the hands of Westminster.

“Electing a strong team of SNP MPs in May will ensure that Scotland’s voice cannot be ignored, and use our clout in a hung parliament to gain the welfare responsibilities we need to build a fairer society."

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