30 June 2017
Scottish Government respond to UC flexibilities consultation
The Scottish Government has responded to a consultation seeking views on draft regulations on Universal Credit. The consultation ran between 16 January and 13 March 2017.
The Universal Credit (Claims and Payments) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 were published on 29 June. The consultation was seeking views on two flexibilities of more frequent payments of Universal Credit and managed payments to social and private sector landlords. Both flexibilties are available to the Scottish Government under Sections 29 and 30 Scotland Act 2016, although Universal Credit remains reserved to the UK Government. Similar flexibilities will exist for Northern Ireland. There are also two other flexibilities - the power to vary the amount of housing costs paid to people in receipt of Universal Credit and the power to split payments between members of a household. There will be further announcements about these flexibilities.
The Government's response states that they have made a number of changes to the draft regulations based on the responses received. As a result they have:
- Strengthened the wording to address stakeholder concerns that a right to request flexibility, rather than a right to choose, could unintentionally result in a request for a flexibility being refused without legitimate reason which is contrary to the policy intention. The new regulations make it clear that the request must be agreed to unless it is considered unreasonable to implement the request
- removed the word claimant and replaced it with applicant or recipient
- updated references to rent to include service charges
The new regulations will come into effect on 4 October 2017.
The Scottish Government's response can be found on the Government's website.
In addition, an analysis of responses to the consultation has also been published as a research report.
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