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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Universal Credit Cover Up Shows Why Scotland Needs Responsibility for Welfare

Saturday, 24 May 2014

The revelation that damning criticism over the mess Westminster's Universal Credit is in was suppressed has shown why Scotland needs to be able to make our own choices on Welfare.

Reports in today's Independent make clear that Iain Duncan Smith halted Universal Credit's inclusion on the Major Project Authority's register of major public risks as it was set to receive a 'red' rating – showing the reforms are “unachievable within reasonable timescales and to a reasonable budget without urgent remedial action”.

While the Westminster Government claimed that Universal Credit was not included because the project had been 'reset' in February 2013, the Independent also revealed that the deeply critical assessment was in fact carried out over seven months after this reset had taken place.

Commenting, SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“The revelation today that the Westminster Government is apparently determined to gloss over the mess that Universal Credit is in will surprise no-one.

“Westminster governments have shown time and again that they have no understanding and no concern for just how much their damaging welfare changes affect people's lives.

“Their attempts to pretend that everything is fine when clearly it is not are fooling nobody.

“The shambles that Westminster has presided over when it comes to welfare is one of the clearest demonstrations possible of why we need to be able to make our own decisions on tax and welfare in Scotland.

“Instead of having people's lives ruined by Westminster's incompetence, with a Yes vote we will be able to build a system that reflects the values of people in Scotland and does not let people down in the way that successive Westminster Governments have.”

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