Universal Credit Web Site Can’t Spell and Barely Works.
The Guardian reports,
The first step of the claim form for the government’s flagship welfare reform initiative, billed as the biggest change to the benefits system for 60 years, invites people to input a security code, “seperating” each word with a space.
Council staff and CAB advisers initially had some difficulty navigating beyond the welcome page as they tried to familiarise themselves with the system and found the password entry stage was temporarily stuck.
“I’m not saying it’s not working,” a council staff member said, flustered as she tried to demonstrate the system. “But we have a display error.” The issue resolved itself half an hour later, and staff concluded that it was probably a local problem rather than an issue with the DWP computer system.
Advisers were worried about the absence of a save function on the process (which takes up to 45 minutes to complete), meaning that if a claimant paused to get extra information and was logged off, they would need to start again. Staff said they hoped this would be resolved before the programme was rolled out nationwide for new claimants from October.
This is not the end of the problems Universal Credit will cause.
The Morning Star notes,
Critics have warned the scheme threatens heavy sanctions for people who are already working.
Those in minimum-waged, part-time jobs of less than 35 hours a week risk losing their benefit unless they attend job interviews with as little as 48 hours’ notice.
The regulations can even compel a worker to quit the job they have for one with slightly more hours, on pain of freezing their benefit.
And the Minister in charge says he,
would also freeze people’s benefits if they tried to secure higher wages through industrial action.
“Striking is a choice and in future benefit claimants will have to pay the price for that choice – as under universal credit, we no longer will,” he said.
There are plenty of critics,
TUC regional secretary Lynn Collins said the raft of sanctions and hoops would “only worsen the gap between the haves and have-nots.
“This is a crackpot scheme which is designed to cut payments to the most vulnerable people and the working poor,” she said.