Universal Credit sanctions will hit young people hardest

Job Centre sign and MSP Jackie Baillie.

Constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie, has warned claimants who are entitled to benefits to be prepared for Universal Credit as analysis from Scottish Labour shows that nearly three-quarters of Universal Credit sanctions in Scotland have landed on people under the age of 30

Out of a total of 44,742 decisions to apply a sanction under Universal Credit, over 32,000 have been applied to claimants aged under 30. Shockingly, 1 in 5 sanctions have landed on claimants aged just 18 and 19 years old.  Full roll-out of Universal Credit began in Argyll and Bute in September, while the new benefit system will roll-out in West Dunbartonshire in November.

Jackie Baillie said: “These figures are shocking. The Tories’ new benefit system is hitting our young people the hardest.  Young people in Scotland are already more likely to be in low paid, insecure work. Our economy does not work for them, but instead of supporting the under 30’s to get into secure, well-paid jobs, the Tories are hitting them with vicious sanctions.  Universal Credit is causing poverty and hardship wherever it’s rolled out, especially for young people. The Tories own Work and Pensions Secretary admitted that it would leave people worse off. It is important that all people, especially the young people who are trying to get on their feet, are aware of the changes to benefits and ensure that they are prepared.  If you are worried about the changes to benefits, I would urge you to get in touch with your local Citizens Advice Bureau.”

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