MSP fears a lack of action on payments leaves women at risk

Central Scotland list MSP Mark Griffin
Central Scotland list MSP Mark Griffin

Central Scotland list MSP Mark Griffin has uncovered shocking new figures, which show only 15 out of 880,000 households in the UK received split payments of Universal Credit, leaving women and children at risk of financial abuse.

In April, Mr Griffin secured changes to devolved social security law to make sure all payments of Universal Credit in Scotland are split fairly between both adults, a first across the UK.

Research shows that nine in 10 cases of domestic abuse has a financial link and in August an influential group of MPs confirmed the design of Universal Credit put women at greater risk.

Despite winning agreement from across the Holyrood chamber the UK Government has so far refused to back the move.

Mr Griffin said: “These damning figures highlight the truly grotesque and abysmal way the UK Government is handling its welfare reform agenda.

“I fought to secure amendments to the Social Security Act that will make sure all payments of Universal Credit are split fairly – it is disgusting the UK Government has consistently failed to consider this.

“The single payment shifts income from women to men, reducing their financial autonomy and undermining the safety of women in abusive relationships by pressurising them to stay with their partner.

“Split payments could offer hope to women suffering from financial and domestic abuse so the UK Government must get off its hands and act as a matter of urgency.”