Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Welfare Cuts as Universal Credit Founders.

with 40 comments

Image result for welfare cuts 2017

“No Spending Spree…..”

There was a flicker of a chart on Channel Four News last night about the effects of the Welfare cuts on people.

I suspect that’s about the most, a very brief most, that most people – unlike us lot – will register about the issue.

The so-called Minister, Work and Pensions Secretary, Damian Green, has been quieter than the quietest mouse recently.

He did find time for this, “Our Man – Advice and Supports Services

Thursday, 23 February, 2017 (Latest Web site date).

On the whole by any reasonable measure Ashford is a prosperous town set in the middle of a generally prosperous county. But we should all be aware that even in the middle of this generally comfortable existence live people with real problems.

And he did, very curtly, respond to this.

Billions of pounds of PIP cuts ‘will put lives at risk.

The announcement of billions of pounds of cuts to the government’s new disability benefit is a discriminatory attack on people with mental health problems, will push many of them further into poverty and isolation, and will put lives at risk, say disabled activists.

Protests about the cuts to personal independence payment (PIP) have already been announced, with one due to take place outside parliament on Tuesday (7 March), the day before the spring budget.

Disability News Service is also aware of discussions among at least two groups about possible legal action over the cuts.

Work and pensions secretary Damian Green said he had made the decision to amend regulations to tighten eligibility for PIP because of two tribunal decisions that ruled against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

But nothing, as yet, on the Budget...

This is how the New Statesman’s admirable Anoosh Chakelian  sums up the post-Budget position on Welfare,

What welfare changes did Philip Hammond make in his Budget 2017?

The welfare cap is still there. The four-year freeze of working-age benefits continues. This means those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, income support, housing benefit, Universal Credit, child tax credits, working tax credits and child benefit will be worse off, as inflation increases but their benefits remain flat. Child tax credits and child benefit through Universal Credit will be limited to two children, and the government recently announced its plan to remove the entitlement to housing benefit for some 18-21 year olds. Hammond’s only offer to those depending on the state to boost their income is to reduce the taper rate at which your benefits through Universal Credit are withdrawn as you begin to earn more – from 65 per cent to 63 per cent.Hammond’s only offer to those depending on the state to boost their income is to reduce the taper rate at which your benefits through Universal Credit are withdrawn as you begin to earn more – from 65 per cent to 63 per cent. The Chancellor announced this in his Autumn Statement last November and has made no new announcements about benefits since. In fact, his only reference to welfare in his Spring Budget speech was to repeat his softening of the taper rate.


“…remember, this isn’t giving more money to claimants .

It’s very slightly reducing the amount Universal Credit is being cut.

According to the Independent, the planned £3bn-a-year reduction in the work allowance..

has only really been reduced by about £700m by Hammond.”

People in Liverpool are not happy,

New research published today reveals the government’s flagship Universal Credit scheme is causing significant anxiety…..

and leaving many claimants reliant on the generosity of food banks to get by.

Sometimes you wish politicians and the media would concentrate more on these stories….


Written by Andrew Coates

March 10, 2017 at 12:10 pm

40 Responses

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  1. Maximus ‘admits’ using brutal and dangerous suicide questions

    DNS – 9th March 2017

    One of the outsourcing giants paid to assess disabled people for their eligibility for benefits appears to have admitted that it is standard practice – approved by the government – to ask claimants with mental health conditions why they failed to take their own lives.

    A leading clinical psychologist has warned this week that such questioning “brings huge risks” and is one of the reasons behind the increase in suicides associated with the government’s work capability assessment (WCA) process*.

    The admission from Maximus, which carries out WCAs for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), came after a disabled campaigner produced a recording of his own assessment.

    On the recording, shared with Disability News Service (DNS), a Maximus assessor – an occupational therapist – is heard asking Jonathan Hume a series of questions during his WCA, while typing on a keyboard.

    Read More:

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    March 10, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    • Definitely.Some aspects of today’s society and political climate echo the former Yugoslavia.

      Still no article 50.It might well be the case that some cannot stomach what they voted for when their pockets are affected.


      March 10, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    • Does Sue Marsh know about this?

      Knobby Joker

      March 10, 2017 at 3:15 pm

  2. Doug, thanks for sandbox,

    Um how long has it been since the creation of UC that people on it have been going to food banks.


    March 10, 2017 at 1:50 pm

  3. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    March 10, 2017 at 3:08 pm

  4. So the “taper rate” of Universal Credit is going down from 65p in the pound to 63p. This means that if you are on Universal Credit and earning less than 35 hours per week at the minimum wage for every hour you work now you lose 65/100 x £7.20 = £4.68 and keep £2.52 and in April you will lose 63/100 x £7.20 = £4.54 and get to keep £2.66 meaning that you’ll earn a princely £2.66 – £2.54 = £0.12 per hour more in April than now.

    And after all the cuts and freezes and caps, all of which are still going ahead full bore, THAT is supposed to be the kind of help the government thinks will make things better for the working poor is it?

    Jesus Christ!


    March 10, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    • Well an extra couple of Mars bars a week could be helpful to the starving, Paul. Credit where credit is due.

      Knobby Joker

      March 10, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      • Chocolate price hike if Brexit deal fails, warns Mars

        BBC – 10th March 2017

        Chocolate prices could rise if the UK does not secure a trade deal post-Brexit, according to Mars’ top boss.

        Fiona Dawson, global president for Mars, said the absence of a deal with EU member states would see tariffs of up to 30% for the industry.

        Read More:

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        March 10, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    • Paul

      Its £7.50 an hour after April 2017.
      Also you didn’t say how many 35 hours in a tax year as tax , NIC and pension contributions have to come off first before applying the taper.

      ANYWAY Paul your missing the minutiae here.

      Now i say im not going to take 65p, im only going to take 63p in the pound that sounds like a good deal in your favor does it not. BUT when i say instead i will nolonger take 65% of £7.20 and only take 63% of £7.50 we see something entirely different.

      65% of £7.20 is £4.68 where as 63% of £7.50 is £4.73 (not paying tax an NIC)

      So rather than be sidetracked by what you keep are you now paying attention to what DWP keep as they just gained 5p more meaning you taper faster ?


      Not going to take more from welfare my Fu#king foot.

      Also if you are paying income tax and national insurance that 25p you once got went down by 2p an hour to 23p.

      So a person working, paying taxes and NIC but taking no benefits makes an extra 26p
      The person working but not paying tax and NIC and drawing benefits makes 25p
      While the person who works, pays tax and NIC and drawing benefits makes 23p

      Interesting don’t you think ?


      March 11, 2017 at 12:48 am

      • That is interesting. Whichever way you look at it Universal Credit does not make work pay or help people struggling on low wages: all Universal Credit does is to replace out-of-work poverty with in-work poverty with more people worse off, much worse off in some cases, that they would have been on legacy benefits. \Work is only a way out of poverty if it pays enough to do good and people keep enough of their earnings to do them some good.

        Universal Credit is nasty stuff all around.


        March 11, 2017 at 7:12 am

      • Paul

        Adding in the planned rise of self employed NIC , its so obvious a tax rise in terms of revenue taken as an agenda for this government than it has anything to do with putting more money in your pocket,especially when you add in VAT and other tax rises like council tax for instance. With particular interest to VAT with rising prices of goods,rent,etc, government get more. As house prices rise, a portion will cross bands and thus produce more council tax.

        If you look at the finances for what you need to live on as opposed to pulling in ones belt, we all go negative. All that happens when we all get these so called rises is a new dividing up of your money between business and government as one way or another, there going to get it. If it helps look at savings as deferred payments and its only when you die and what you leave behind do you truly know what you made which is no good to you when your dead when you consider you cant take it with you.

        Thats why the quote “there’s only two things certain in life, death and taxes” holds a special meaning to me, especially when you consider that money and or assets you leave gets regurgitated back into this monetary system and is very much factored in. Its funny to imagine that people think they gain from an inheritance like they do with the tax lark when the truth is only business and government do ultimately.

        That you basically live and work for the benefit of others and who said slavery is dead.


        March 11, 2017 at 8:23 am

      • Paul

        Wage rises are an illusion, created to install hope just long enough to create more new hope, as the only time your truly see a wage rise is when you go from a £7.50 an hour job to a £19 an hour job and even then only till you learn to utilizes it.


        If you take this article, the idea was to lower pollution so we were told but look now whats happened and how yet again its an opportunity to grab more tax revenue. Its all just an illusion to benefit others and not you.

        Then there’s this



        March 11, 2017 at 9:25 am

  5. OT: Homelessness

    Update – have been informed of the following: Must vacate in a week or two, no priority need found. Letter is dated so the date to ask for review is tomorrow [if you believed what is written – I know better]. Am lying about result of medical test about my back. No contact made with doctors of any sort by the looks of things – also no reference to council external doctors report but implies one was done, threat of violence dismissed no foundation – no report deliberately done at the time by caseworker [Thank god I recorded], no disability found etc etc.

    Basically go away you horrible little man. What I expected but my temper has spiked and keeps spiking.
    Each time I read it I get angry, but am not going to contact anyone until I get all my ducks in a row.


    March 10, 2017 at 4:36 pm

  6. The article from Liverpool is pretty dramatic (for odd reasons, no doubt due to Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, but I can’t tie them to it, give me a minute…. the text kept spilling over the page so I cut it),

    10th of March.

    “City leaders have slammed the “catastrophic” impact of years of welfare cuts, which they say have left children starving and penalised people for being ill and disabled.

    They said many families with low-paid, unemployed or sick members have suffered from a “triple whammy” of government reforms like the bedroom tax and other benefit cutbacks.

    Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool, said the council had been forced to cushion the blow, covering some of the costs despite losing more than half its own funding since 2010.

    Today he will unveil a ground-breaking council study laying bare what every single benefit cut has cost Liverpool families since the Conservatives first came to power.”

    “The research suggests women, children, sick and disabled people have suffered the most, with working families also hit hard and many households turning to foodbanks.

    The mayor said: “This is the first time ever a complete picture has been pulled together of the impact of welfare reforms since 2010.

    “It shows clearly some of the most vulnerable people in society have been repeatedly affected, and will be hit again.”


    Andrew Coates

    March 10, 2017 at 4:39 pm

  7. Now that Housing Benefit don`t go through the Councils anymore the DWP run all Housing Benefit Issues.

    Housing Benefit was a Local Councils Form now it`s all part of UC Universal Credit which all other benefits will become.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    March 10, 2017 at 4:44 pm

  8. My temporary job is about to end and will have to apply for universal crap, I was wondering do you have to apply online, or can you do it on the phone.


    March 10, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    • You have to do it online either yourself, at the Jobcentre (who are supposed to help and advise you), or over the phone where somebody asks you the questions and they feed them into the online application for you. Then you have to have two interviews at the Jobcentre: First to prove your identity, when you have to show them photo ID and/or other documents, like a birth certificate, to prove you’re entitled and details in respect to your accommodation, e.g., tenancy agreement, how many bedrooms you have (to see if they can sting you with the Bedroom Tax) etc., because Housing Benefit is rolled into Universal Credit; Second to discuss what you have done, are expected to do, and what you are going to do to get a job. Also you are supposed to create a Universal Jobmatch account, post a CV, and fill in the usual details like sexual preference etc.

      Then you wait six or more weeks until your first payment, usually more than six weeks I’m sorry to say and visit the Jobcentre fortnightly for an interview with your Work Coach.

      It’s much worse than the system which preceded it and isn’t one bit simpler or clearer.

      Absolutely bloody awful to be honest.

      Good luck.


      March 10, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      • Passport – fraud alert, driving licence – pizza delivery job. And a birth certificate gives details of your parents occupations, etc.. This ID malarkey is just a sneaky way to glean information. The work programme (Working Links) do this under the guise of “proving you are eligible to work in the UK”. And if you are stupid enough they will even take your bank card off of you and disappear in the back with it – to copy the details! Working Links are FRAUDSTERS! Working Links also threaten their victims with sanctions if they don’t fill in an umpteen-page security service-vetting style form demanding details of all your finances, property, partner, family, you name it, Working Links want to know about ir…. like any of it is any of their fucking business!

        Enemy of the State

        March 11, 2017 at 10:01 am

  9. Thanks Paul, it sounds absolutely delightful
    🙁 NOT.


    March 10, 2017 at 9:54 pm

  10. While the cuts to benefits with resulting effects. Theres no shortage of headlines from the media.

    SUN SAYS Terrible way to Phil the coffers with White Van Man tax mistake
    Increasing the National Insurance contributions of Britain’s army of self-employed strivers is a misguided idea


    Its the strivers and skivers mentality again.That can’t be far away now.

    Post-Brexit, we will need all the start-ups and entrepreneurs we can get.

    Don’t rely on Skills Conditionality!


    March 11, 2017 at 1:28 am

  11. G4S shrugs off scandals to post rise in profits and revenues

    Sales growth in the UK, where G4S is under investigation from the Serious Fraud Office for overcharging the government for the electronic tagging of offenders, rose 1.5 per cent.



    March 11, 2017 at 1:33 am

  12. Ros Altman Alistair Burt on Radio 4 saying that when the “baby boomers hit 65 they are going to have cash in their ISAs to pay for their care because let’s face it, nothing is for free, it is your neighbours who are paying for your care.”

    Senior Citzen

    March 11, 2017 at 11:13 am

  13. 1st More foodbanks, now possibly more homeless shelters.


    If there’s one thing certain its the ever increasing amount of people living on the streets, foodbanks are stretched and reports coming in is that churches are at breaking point trying to provide the homeless a safe place for the night to bed down.
    Now we hear a council is looking to fund a new homeless shelter in Slough.


    March 12, 2017 at 5:53 am

    • Yes and millions of people around the world are starving, because most people don’t care about anyone else

      Yet more people on the streets around here, not much help here either.


      March 12, 2017 at 11:47 am

      • It’s yuman nature, innit?

        I'm Alright. Jack

        March 12, 2017 at 12:47 pm

  14. This sounds again familiar again locally.

    Claimants would be set unreasonable job search targets, referred for jobs for which they were clearly unsuited,

    Being sent for a job which had no qualifications for.The job description wasn’t even checked when this was pointed out the request was ignored.

    They made the decision to mandate customers to all job programmes regardless of their suitability. They did this by applying a benefit direction on the customer to make them attend. The purpose was to increase the opportunity to sanction a customer, should they fail any part of the direction.

    This might sound equally familiar also.Its clear this culture still exists and nationwide.What makes it even more abhorrent people already on mandated Skills Conditionality courses were told they had to do 30 hours a week instead when there was legal requirement and told to move their courses to times they didn’t even run.

    That opens up the question of the real meaning of programs like Skills Conditionality.

    “agitate” and “Inconvenience” customers That does seem to be the method reflected in behavior and tone



    A DWP spokesman said: “Mr Longden’s allegations were thoroughly investigated and no evidence was found to substantiate them. Furthermore, the people named in the allegations strongly refute them.

    Does this answer the question over the missing data/Documents?


    March 12, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    • Ken

      Do you know claimants on government-supported training and employment programme’s are statistically seen as employed ?


      March 13, 2017 at 7:59 am

  15. OT: Witch Mays name for poor Families


    Theresa May’s “just about managing” families – or JAMS


    So for Unemployed Familes it must be UF, or more commonly Unemployed F&*^kers
    Disabled Families – Die Freeloaders [coming soon via benefit cuts]

    etc etc


    March 12, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    • Thousands of families dependent on a single self-employed wage could lose up to a sixth of their income due to a combination of national insurance changes in the budget and earlier cuts to universal credit.

      Ministers are continuing to wrestle with the political aftermath of Philip Hammond’s first budget, particularly the headline decision to increase NICs from self-employed people to match those paid by the regularly employed.

      The chancellor has been accused of breaking a pledge in the Conservatives’ 2015 election manifesto not to increase NICs, and of unfairly targeting self-employed people and small businesses.

      Those so called promises which many believe.



      March 13, 2017 at 4:55 am

  16. Help, technology is stealing my job


    Now its just so easy to be lead astray by these companies, government and it appears even media, “Have you been affected by the travel disruption?” a quote made by the BBC news article asking for readers comments on what this is really about.

    Technology obviously needed to be able to aid just one man to guard the safety of passengers when opening and closing doors so what we have is a classic case of machine replacing man.

    Now the companies state no one will lose their job but what does that really mean ?

    Well we know these companies intend to place these workers elsewhere in the business so my monies on this being their total pledge honored. After than one of two things could happen.

    1: The companies as each one retires or leaves this new post does not replace said worker with another.
    2: Decide further down the tracks that the post or amount holding such a post needs to be reduced.

    I wouldn’t trust these companies as far as i could throw them so urge the public to support these rails staff, to put aside the inconvenience as what is happening to them today could well be you tomorrow in your job as business after business seeks to replace humans with machines.

    You’ve been warned as if allowed to become a social norm will have dire consequences as currently there’s no regulations whats so ever to prevent this happening.


    March 13, 2017 at 8:50 am

    • Train guards are redundant. Totally unnecessary. All that “passenger safety” bollocks is just the dying screams of a non-job being made redundant. These door opener/closer don’t give a flying fuck about about passenger safety – it is all about their fat salaries, pensions, benefits, free travel for them and their families etc…

      Casey Jones

      March 13, 2017 at 9:26 am

      • Casey Jones

        You can sue a human for compensation as a result of an injury, you can be compensated as a result of poor maintenance but you cant sue for a malfunction.

        You rely on your senses to not walk over a cliff, the single driver relies on sensors to ensure the doors are functional. Take away this and both fail to prevent the risk.
        When trains are maintained the electrical/electronic tests aren’t all encompassing and certainly don’t contain premonistic methods for component failure.

        So whether or not accidents rise or fall, to the person it happens to it matters, especially when they discover the train company is claiming a malfunction dew to component failure was the cause and not human error by either the driver or maintenance engineer.

        On top of this your very quick to utter i quote ” don’t give a flying fuck about about passenger safety – it is all about their fat salaries, pensions, benefits, free travel for them and their families etc” yet completely omit that that’s precisely what the train company is thinking while may i add never ever going to lower the cost of your travel.
        So if we are considering where the money should go then surely its better in the hands of the working class than the fat cat investors and grossly over paid CEOs who laugh at working class people everyday.


        March 13, 2017 at 12:01 pm

  17. I cant keep themselves safe yet claim they can keep us safe.


    How many times do we here this document or that government was left on a train, found on a tip,etc,etc.
    This government has a cheek to profess they can keep our data safe when they cant even protect their own. No doubt if need be their find a scape goat and state the mortal words, “we will look at revising our system of operation and improve it for the future so it never happens again”.


    March 13, 2017 at 8:56 am

  18. SS-Scotchland

    March 13, 2017 at 9:16 am

  19. OT: Household costs

    Energy prices keep going up but 14%?


    SSE has become the latest “big six” energy supplier to raise its prices.
    It said average electricity prices would rise by 14.9% from 28 April for 2.8 million customers. However, it will keep its gas prices unchanged.

    Npower – 15% from 16 March
    E.On – 13.8%
    Scottish Power – 10.8% from 31 March
    EDF Energy – 8.4% since 1 March
    British Gas – Frozen till August

    ME: With no increase in benefits, this is going to hit hard.
    Note: SSE says Gas is not going up – but Gas is not needed day in day out, whereas Electricity is.


    March 13, 2017 at 11:37 am

    • Gazza

      Like i said on Mr coates last thread. When you factor in this to a rise in rent that 76% of this so called pay increase and tax allowance that your now down to a mere 5p an hour or if your on UC even lower.

      Once you add all the other price rises and bingo, you just went negative.


      March 13, 2017 at 12:13 pm

  20. OT : Scot Exit due to BritExit another IndyRef

    And so it continues…


    The choice between a hard Brexit and independence must be between Autumn 2018 and the Spring of 2019
    Posted at
    Ms Sturgeon says if the UK leaves the EU without indicating that Scotland wants a different relationship with Europe, that would put future negotiations in difficulty.

    The first minister says Scotland must have the choice, between a hard Brexit or independence, between Autumn 2018 and the Spring of 2019.


    March 13, 2017 at 11:52 am

    • Blimey! As if leaving the EU doesn’t diminish the UK enough, one of the four countries that make it up may well end up seceding and going its own way. What would we call ourselves then if the union dissolved? Little Britain? As is nine of America’s fifty states are bigger than the UK, which is, as far as I can remember, slightly smaller in area than Oregon. How the jell people really have been fooled into believing that Britain will be better off and more powerful out of the EU than in it baffles me. I wonder what will happen when we do begin the process of disengagement and the shit really hits the fan full force.


      March 13, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      • Paul

        I would imagine doing business with two of the most human rights violators on the planet along with Trump who according to conservatives/democrats is a right wing fascist.

        Even Zuckerberg’s ready to suck up to one of these HR violators now he has his mass censorship program down pat.


        March 13, 2017 at 4:25 pm

  21. […] Welfare Cuts as Universal Credit Founders. […]

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