Scottish carers are worse off due to universal credit
A report has warned that family carers for children with vulnerabilities in Scotland are more likely to be worse off under Universal Credit due to the UK government failing to take Scotland’s different legal framework into account.
Child Poverty Action Group has sent a report to Scottish and UK ministers urging them to amend the universal credit regime to pay closer heed to Scotland’s systems and use devolved power to protect children and their family carers from poverty, reports Public Finance.
The report said support for carers is patchy and sometimes inadequate in Scotland, “despite good intentions”
The report’s author, CPAG welfare rights expert Alison Gillies, said the Universal Credit rules posed “very serious difficulties” for many kinship carers
“The new system assumes that looked-after children living with kinship carers receive support at the same level as fostering allowances, ignoring the very different legal and support framework in place in Scotland, and the fact that many Scottish kinship carers receive allowances far below fostering allowance rates. The clear lesson from the experience of Scottish kinship care payments is that every level of government must co-operate fully to ensure that the financial support they provide has the maximum possible impact on families struggling on low incomes. As Universal Credit is rolled out and further social security powers are devolved to the Scottish Parliament that lesson is more important than ever if we are to avoid the iniquitous outcomes that many kinship carers have faced.”
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