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Source: Scotland – Highland Council

The Leader of The Highland Council has welcomed the findings of the Work and Pensions Committee published today (Monday 19 October) that highlight a starter payment should be made to people claiming Universal Credit (UC) for the first time to ensure that everyone has enough money for basics such as food and heating during the wait for their initial monthly payment.

Leader of the Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson said: “Highland has been hit hard by the many shortfalls arising from the UK Government’s benefit scheme.

“The 5-week wait for the first payment is driving many of our residents into debt and putting strain on the relationships between landlords and their tenants. I very much welcome the Work and Pensions Committee’s findings and indeed have been lobbying the UK Government for some years on a number of these issues.”

The Work and Pensions Committee is also calling on the Government to make permanent the £20 per week increase in the standard UC allowance announced in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Davidson added: “Many of our tenants have been struggling over recent months as a result of the ongoing pandemic. We are here to offer help and support.  For those claiming benefits, particularly those who are having to make a benefit claim for the first time, the UC system can be complex, but our staff are trained to help tenants with a wide range of tailored advice and support.

“Our Welfare Support Team have done a tremendous job supporting many tenants to claim Universal Credit and to ensure their payments continue.  Our team can be contacted on 0800 090 1004.”

19 Oct 2020


MIL OSI United Kingdom