THE ROLLOUT OF UNIVERSAL CREDIT in Moray will be delayed by around three months in Moray to allow Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) staff time to put Budget measures in place.
Last week there was a row in Moray Council as SNP opposition group councillors sought to have the Leader of the Council Leader write to the UK Government seeking a delay on the rollout in Moray.
There was anger as Conservative and Independent Administration group councillors refused the request – but just hours later the Budget statement revealed several changes to the rollout that would provide greater assistance and reassurance for those affected.
Now, in a letter to Council Chief Executives throughout the country, the DWP has revealed that the rollout of Universal Credit will be delayed – and will not happened in Moray until June.
In the letter Neil Couling, director general of the Universal Credit programme, says that in order to make the budget changes it has been decided to delay the rollout by three months.
Last night the Conservative group leader at Moray Council, Tim Eagle, said: “The changes in the budget will hopefully make it much better for everyone as the rollout program continues.
“I’m sure the Council will continue to do all they can to prepare for the new roll out date in Moray of June 2018. By the time we get to Moray we remain hopeful that many of the teething difficulties of the system along with the large-scale changes being made will help to ensure that delivery is much better for all claimants.”
The Budget measures reduce the ‘waiting period’ for those switching to Universal Credit by a week, while also removing the one-week period where no payments are earned.
Those on housing benefit will also retain that for the first two weeks of Universal Credit, while the loan system will allow people to claim one month of Universal Credit within five days that would then be repayable over a year rather than the current six months.