Kirkcaldy election candidates reveal stance on Universal Credit

Universal Credit: What will you do to repair the damage caused to families in Kirkcaldy by the introduction of Universal Credit?

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 3:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th December 2019, 4:07 pm
Universal Credit has been a hot topic.
Universal Credit has been a hot topic.

Kathleen Leslie (Tory): The benefits system has been simplified with Universal Credit and it is seeing more people get into work, which ultimately is what any economy requires.

Undoubtedly Universal Credit has had a number of problems since residents have been rolled onto it,

I am well aware of that and have spoken to residents in the past few weeks who have described how they have found being moved onto it.

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However, I know also had people say to me that it can and does work and is a better system. I have been concerned about the rent schedule set by Fife Council as that is one of the comments that has come back to me from recipients of UC.

I intend to investigate that further and if elected I would be asking questions of the DWP in their link-up with local authorities.

Neale Hanvey (Independent): Universal credit costs the Fife economy £153m per year, but the human costs are extreme.

SNP MPs will continue to argue for a halt to Universal Credit until it treats everyone with fairness, dignity and respect. Fixing known problems could be done immediately. We have years of evidence of what needs fixed so let’s get it fixed.

Gill Cole-Hamilton (Lib Dem): I’d ensure it was properly funded and reformed to end the benefit cap, the two child limit and the bedroom tax.

Lesley Laird (Labour): I’d scrap UC because it only created more poverty and misery for our communities. Labour would replace the Dept of Work and Pensions with a Dept of Social Security offering a genuine safety net for people unable to work or not able to find employment.

Mitch William (Brexit Party): I will fight to have a fairer more equal system adopted.

Scott Rutherford (Green Party): Social security has been intentionally gutted under the current government. We must see the introduction of a real social safety net that stops people falling into poverty and that decreases inequality. Providing dignity, respect and a willingness to help people out of precarious situations is central to the provision of this public service.

Click the links below to find out where the candidates stand on the issues facing the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath Constituency.