At the beginning of this year Citizens Advice bureaux in Musselburgh and Haddington conducted a survey to compare Universal Credit benefit entitlements with existing benefits.
East Lothian is the first Scottish Local Authority to implement full service Universal Credit and the local Citizens Advice Bureaux have witnessed the financial, emotional and social impacts on claimants.
Their research found that claimants could be £22 worse off every week by transferring to Universal Credit and that more people would lose than gain. 52% of the clients surveyed would lose with a median loss of £44 per week and only 31% of clients would gain with a median gain of just 34p per week.
The most adversely affected were lone parents and claimants with disabilities. Nearly a fifth of claimants had to wait two months for their first payment and rent arrears for East Lothian council properties increased by almost 30% since the introduction of Universal Credit.
Download and read the report here: Universal Credit in East Lothian - Impact on client entitlement
What is Universal Credit? What’s the issue with it? More information here.