Universal Credit pilot sees tenants plunge into arrears

Benefit tales

Tenants have been plunged into rent arrears after the introduction of a controversial new welfare regime – and now council bosses are asking the UK Government for compensation

Musselburgh was chosen as the first area in Scotland to pilot the full digital roll-out of the new Universal Credit (UC), which replaces six other benefits and was intended to simplify the system but has been criticised for making it more complex.

And a report by East Lothian Council reveals a 22 per cent increase in rent arrears among UC claimants in just three months, with the average amount owed almost £900.

 The report says the way the system is being managed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is causing “major concern”. And it recommends the council should seek “financial recompense from the UK Government for the loss of council tax and council house rent income as a result of…

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