Universal Credit, “unmitigated disaster”.
Universal Credit system is increasingly Kafka-esque.
The Herald reports today,
Since it was first mooted by then Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith back in in 2010, Universal Credit has rarely been out of the news.
This major reform of the welfare system – which replaces six separate benefits and tax credits with one payment – was supposed to improve a number of things, not least making work pay for the lowest earners and streamlining a system that has been creaking under the strain for some time.
Three years after the roll-out of the policy, however, it’s fair to say neither of these things have come to pass; indeed many would argue that the introduction of Universal Credit has been an unmitigated disaster.
Among them is likely to be Glasgow City Council which, like local authorities up and down the land, is left to pick up the pieces when mistakes are made.
A recent document revealed Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) staff mistakenly transferred 73 homeless claimants on to the new benefit, despite the fact they are supposed to be exempt until 2018. One of the consequences of this has been that each of these claimants now has an average of £2,000 in housing arrears each, creating a deficit of almost £145,000 for the council.
The DWP says its system does not allow a change of status for those involved, meaning the claimants in question are locked-in to Universal Credit through no fault of their own.
The Council will have to pick up the tab, and the longer this goes on, the more serious the financial loss will be for a body already facing swingeing austerity cuts to its budgets. According to some, cuts to both service provision and jobs are now on the cards to pay for the deficit. Not even Franz Kafka could have made up this level of bureaucratic incompetence; it’s surely time for the DWP to take responsibility for its mistakes and focus on services for those on Universal Credit rather than extending another failing system.
This is the document they refer to:
HOMELESS individuals and families on the UK Government’s controversial Universal Credit scheme are racking up huge arrears putting services and jobs at risk in Scotland’s largest city, according to a new report.
In a report detailing the impact of the new benefit on homeless people in the city, the council says Glasgow City Council said errors by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have been compounding the problem by mistakenly transferring homeless people on to the initiative.
Homeless people are supposed to be exempt from Universal Credit (UC), which incorporates both income support and housing payments, until the benefit is fully rolled out in the city in September 2018.
But a council report examining the impact on the city’s homeless found that, in a handful of cases, the DWP has registered them for Universal Credit anyway.
The result is they do not receive the full cost of their accommodation. Other problems are being caused by people transferred to UC but who later become homeless because the benefit does not pay the full cost of supported accommodation.
Services and staff are under threat, the report says, with 170 staff working with homeless people whose wages are fully or partly funded by rent charges at an annual cost of £4.9 million.
A total of 73 homeless people in Glasgow are now on the benefit, and they have racked up £144,000 in arrears between them.
Then there is this (Yesterday: Mirror.):
Universal Credit: 800,000 self-employed Brits could miss out on benefits
The number of self-employed Brits is rising – but some may find they get a lot less support than their friends in steady jobs under Universal Credit.
Hundreds of thousands of self-employed Brits could lose out on financial support under Universal Credit, a think tank has warned.
The new benefits system will ask more than 800,000 self-employed claimants to report their earnings on a monthly basis.
But the Resolution Foundation argues the move will create red tape and hit those whose earnings change from month to month.