Councillor highlights benefit changes

Ross Vettraino
Ross Vettraino

THE implications of the soon to be introduced Universal Tax Credit have been highlighted by a Glenrothes Councillor.

The scheme, which will be paid monthly or four weekly, is set to replace Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Tax Credits and Employment Support Allowance (Incapacity Benefit) when it is introduced on April 1.

Councillor Ross Vettraino told the Gazette: “Benefit claimants will now be expected to budget monthly instead of weekly or fortnightly.

“This is a huge change and it may be that people will find themselves in even more debt while they try to come to terms with the change.

“Housing benefit will be paid direct to claimants, this change will likely have an even more devastating affect on people, at the moment, rent and council tax is paid direct to the Council which ensures that arrears situations don’t occur.

“When claimants have to pay their own rent and council tax, it may be that they will have difficulty in managing their budgets and more and more people may find themselves in arrears.

“Currently, about 10 per cent of council tenants are in arrears, so that situation may become much worse.”