Responding to confirmation on Monday that benefits are set to be uprated in line with inflation, CAS Social Justice Policy Manager Nina Ballantyne said:
“The Citizens Advice network in Scotland supports hundreds of thousands of people every year, and we have seen that the benefits freeze has pushed people into poverty and debt. That’s why we’ve been calling for an end to the freeze and specifically for an increase in Universal Credit Work Allowances, so that people in work can keep more of what they earn.
“Uprating payments in line with the cost of living is important, but the freeze was an effective cut to people’s incomes over the past five years.
“So while the end to the benefits freeze does not reverse that cut, it is a welcome step, and should be the start of a process ensuring our social security system actually helps lift people out of poverty.
“We’re calling for further changes to Universal Credit to ensure people get the support they need. The Government should use the March Budget to introduce a Work Allowance for everyone on Universal Credit, as well as implementing wider reforms, including an end to the five week wait for the first Universal Credit payment.”