INVERCLYDE Council will try to protect employees from the impact of the on-going Welfare Reform Agenda.
The council’s Policy and Resources Committee was told a Workforce Development Plan will be drawn up to support any employees who are displaced as a result of the Government’s plans to introduce a single Universal Credit.
Convener and Council Leader Councillor Stephen McCabe said: "In practical terms what this means is that over time the Council will no longer administer claims for a number of benefits including Council Tax and Housing Benefit with the resultant impact on staffing levels, loss of administration grant and the future role of the Council in providing support and advice to claimants. It is therefore vital that we involve all of the relevant trade unions in developing solutions to minimise the effect this will have on staff, services and our customers.”
"There are a number of very significant issues which will impact on the operation of the Council arising from the Welfare Reform Agenda so it is important that we manage our response in a coordinated way. We have more than fifty employees based in the Revenues and Benefits section and a significant number will experience changes but we are working hard to secure their medium to longer term future within the Council and we are determined to retain their skills and experience."
The Welfare Reform Bill proposes savings of £20 billion following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s June 2010 budget speech and the Comprehensive Spending Review in September 2011.
The Scottish Local Government Forum against Poverty estimates the likely impact on the economy of Inverclyde as a loss of between £8 million and £11 million a year with a further loss of £1.7 million annually because of the change linking benefit rises to the Consumer Prices Index instead of the Retail Price Index.