Families and individuals hit by the introduction of the new Universal Credit system of benefits in Edinburgh West are being invited to special surgeries by their Lib Dem MP Christine Jardine.
Universal Credit will be rolled out in Edinburgh from today (28.11.18), with all new claimants and some who’s circumstances have changed moved on to the controversial system from six existing benefits.
In other parts of the country, the roll out has been marred by delays and system errors which have caused late payments and financial difficulties for families already struggling to cope. As many as six thousand people in Edinburgh West could be affected.
Ms Jardine, who has called on the Government to pause the roll out to fix problems said: “I have a horrible feeling that this Christmas has the potential to be anything but Merry for too many of my constituents on benefits.
“ In other parts of the country people are having to wait six weeks – or more – for the new payments, potential leaving Edinburgh West claimants with no way of paying bills at the most expensive time of the year.
“We are already making plans in my office and I hope that these special surgeries, that will bring together groups offering support and constituents, will help people through the Christmas period.
“The most frustrating aspect of this is that it didn’t have to be this way. I have called on the Government repeatedly to halt the roll out and fix the problems. Those calls have fallen on deaf ears.”
The first of Ms Jardines special Universal Credit Surgeries will take place on the 7th of December at 2pm in the Muirhouse Millennium Centre, with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, Low Income Families Together (LIFT) and the Citizens Advice Bureau.