Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Plans to Extend Universal Credit Misery to all Claimants.

with 42 comments

Image result for esther mcVey miserable

Esther McVey: Universal Credit Misery Loves Company.

The government is “considering” “to move existing claimants in receipt of a working age income-related benefit to Universal Credit. that is, they intend everybody on benefits to submit to the new system.


Eight years after implementation of Universal Credit began still only 10 per cent of the expected eventual number of claimants are on the system and significant numbers of those are not paid on time. Some 20 per cent of those paid late, usually the more needy and complicated cases, have waited a staggering five months or more to be paid. These aren’t early teething problems as now, eight years after the first introduction of the benefit one-fifth of new claimants in March 2018 did not receive their full entitlement on time.

Indeed homelessness and depression is likely to arrive more quickly than payment of the benefit. Without reliance on families and friends, foodbanks and other charities, Universal Credit claimants would be likely to lose their health and their housing. This is the very essence of the Dickensian Britain the Tory government presides over.

It looks like a lot more Dickens is about to hit Britain as plans are afloat to move all claimants onto Universal Credit.

Universal Credit next steps: have your say

The end of my time as Chair of SSAC is now rapidly approaching – I stand down at the end of July. But this week’s meeting (June 20) of the Committee saw us considering perhaps the most important set of legislative proposals – in the form of draft regulations – coming to us from the Government for scrutiny in the last few years. The rollout of Universal Credit (UC) is reaching a critical point as DWP plan for the launch next year of moving all recipients of the old “legacy” benefits – mainly employment support allowance, housing benefit and tax credits – to the new integrated UC system. This so-called “managed migration” will affect around three million people.

The implementation plan for UC has changed very considerably from when the Committee scrutinised the initial regulations for the new benefit back in 2012. Rollout is now, very sensibly, much more gradual and the Committee welcomes the stated intention to “test and learn”, as well as some of the detailed changes in the policy already announced. The challenges encountered so far, and the resulting mix of successes and setbacks, have been widely publicised. But the move to full national rollout unquestionably raises those challenges to an even higher, more demanding, level.

The Committee therefore quickly concluded that we should undertake a full public consultation exercise before completing our scrutiny process – at which point we will put our advice to Ministers which they are then obliged to publish before the draft regulations are debated in Parliament. We are launching that consultation process today.

The draft regulations now include some important further developments in the detailed design of the policy – notably the requirement for all existing benefit and tax credit recipients to make a claim for UC and ensure they do so within precise timescales, plus the detail and extent of the “transitional protection” arrangements for those claimants who might otherwise see a fall in their benefit entitlement. But there are also important proposals on the delivery logistics for the rollout, and the Committee is keen for the consultation to generate input on all aspects of this package.

We recognise that the timetable for this consultation – in the run up to the main holiday season – is a challenge in itself. But we hope that providing two months for responses will allow the opportunity for interested parties in all parts of the UK to participate in the exercise.

By the time this consultation finishes I will have taken my leave from SSAC. It’s been both a privilege and a pleasure to chair the Committee since late 2011, and I am most grateful to everyone who has engaged with SSAC and enriched our work during that time. I am delighted to be handing over the role to Ian Diamond, who I’m sure will find it as rewarding and enjoyable as I have. Do please ensure that the evidence and insights Ian and the rest of the Committee have at their disposal following this consultation is as full and rich as it can be, so that they can prepare a compelling, independent, evidence based and constructive report for Ministers and Parliament on the proposals for this important next stage in the evolution of the UK social security system for people of working age.

Amongst the comments (Leave a comment here) these stand out,

Universal Credit is based far too much on coercion through sanctions.

Making people on legacy benefits make a fresh claim is putting more pressure on disabled people. Many of whom have mental health problems.

Stop this inhumane and disastrous Universal Credit it has caused more harm than good and the people who instigated it should be deeply ashamed about it .It is savage and cruel and ill conceived and the sooner it is stopped the less casualties there will be.

The whole ethos of “Universal Credit” is to inflict hardship and destitution to the most vulnerable people in society.

Transferring the sick and disabled onto UC from legacy benefits is the worst idea possible. It means an immediate wait of up to 8 weeks before funds are received – for people that are already living on the breadline and have no savings to live on during the waiting period – people who rely on these funds for things like food, power, medicine and rent who will risk losing their homes, starvation and inability to pay carers or take their medication, in effect – condemning them to misery and fear – deliberately.

Government proposal to move claimants on ‘legacy’ benefits to Universal Credit: consultation announced.


Seeing as this document is not handed out in Job centres we give it in full.

The SSAC is consulting on proposals to move existing claimants in receipt of a working age income-related benefit to Universal Credit.

The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) has today launched a public consultation on proposals for moving all existing claimants of a working age income-related benefit to Universal Credit.

From next year DWP will begin the process of moving claimants in receipt of one or more of the following benefits to Universal Credit:

  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit

The wide-ranging draft legislation, which was presented to the committee for scrutiny at its meeting on 20 June 2018, sets out the government’s proposals on:

  1. requirements for claimants on existing benefits to make a claim for Universal Credit (including the deadlines for doing so) and arrangements for ending their existing benefit
  2. the calculation, award and ongoing treatment of transitional protection

The task of safely moving around 3 million claimants (in around 2 million households) from legacy benefits to Universal Credit raises important questions about the delivery challenge facing the department and the potential impact on claimants.

SSAC has therefore decided to examine this draft legislation, and the impacts that flow from it, in more detail. To help inform this work, the committee would welcome evidence from a broad range of organisations and individuals who have good insight into and/or experience of the following aspects of these proposals:

  • the overall migration timetable
  • arrangements for contacting claimants and inviting claims from them
  • issues associated with making a claim, and ending legacy benefit claims
  • the calculation of transitional protection (including the treatment of earnings and capital)
  • the impact of proposed transitional protection (including how easily it will be delivered and the degree to which it will be understood by claimants)
  • the impact on workers, including the self-employed
  • equality impact (whether there will be particular effects for different groups and how these can best be addressed), for example are there any groups that will not be covered by transitional protection?
  • monitoring and evaluation

The committee would welcome responses to ensure that its advice to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is informed by a range of perspectives. The committee would welcome real or hypothetical case studies or specific examples as part of that evidence.

Paul Gray, the committee’s Chair, said:

The planned rollout of Universal Credit is now reaching its most critical and challenging stage. The government’s draft proposals involve major issues on both detailed entitlement rules and delivery logistics, and are due to be debated in Parliament later this year. SSAC is keen to ensure that the scrutiny report it submits to ministers and Parliament is as well informed as possible, and we therefore strongly encourage all organisations and individuals with relevant evidence to take part in this consultation process.

Please note that we are not consulting on the government’s overarching Universal Credit policy, which is enshrined in primary legislation following Parliamentary scrutiny during the passage of the Welfare Reform Act 2012. Comments on this will not be considered.

Responses should be submitted to the Committee Secretary by no later than 10am on Monday 20 August:

The Committee Secretary
Social Security Advisory Committee
5th Floor
Caxton House
Tothill Street


Written by Andrew Coates

June 27, 2018 at 4:20 pm

42 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on BertieS.


    June 27, 2018 at 5:55 pm

  2. Miliband’s Labour really let us down badly and stabbed us in the back by allowing this draconian bullshit to go through unopposed. The ultimate betrayal. Corbyn ought to say something now, it’s the least he could do.


    June 27, 2018 at 7:49 pm

  3. The government will want to roll out Universal Credit as much as possible if it thinks it can get away with it. Why? Because Universal Credit entitlements are significantly lower and much easier to lose than legacy entitlements. So when eventually benefits are unfrozen and increase a little, to keep up with inflation a little, the social security budget won’t get jacked up as much as otherwise.

    I wonder how the Jobcentres will cope with in-work conditionality and having to interview all those people in some kind of paid employment but not regularly raking in at least 35 hours worth of minimum wage pay.


    June 28, 2018 at 6:13 am

  4. Local jobcentre is moving everyone over to this universal cobblers this coming August ;(


    June 28, 2018 at 6:52 am

  5. Local jobcentre is moving everyone over to this universal cobblers this coming August… ;(


    June 28, 2018 at 6:52 am

  6. Have your say – shared with many – for change


    June 28, 2018 at 11:02 am


    Signed on today and was advised that when my Jobcentre goes over to full service UC in September, anyone on legacy benefit JSA who reports a “change of circumstances” will be automatically moved on to UC. The change of circumstances include changing your phone number or email address. So beware.

    In the meantime, I have been advised I will stay on JSA.

    jj joop

    June 28, 2018 at 11:14 am

    • That’s what they told me, but this seems a move to end that.

      Andrew Coates

      June 28, 2018 at 11:23 am

    • they dont have my email or phone number 😉


      June 28, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    • Legacy benefits are supposed to be phased out gradually from July 2019 until some time during 2023, at which point all benefit claimants are supposed to receiving payments via Universal Credit, so JSA should be around for some claimants another four years or so with incremental transfers of claimants from legacy benefits to the new system beginning from July 2019.

      McVey will try to steam ahead with this if she can; all this “considering” moving legacy claimants onto the new system is twaddle. This was always the plan and unless something drastic happens, e.g., a general election, this is what will happen no matter what the consequences.

      Brace yourselves… it’s going to be a bumpy ride!


      June 28, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    • KJ

      June 29, 2018 at 1:37 am

      • I can’t say whether what I was told was the gospel. My experience of coaches is that you will rarely find two that read from the same sheet. And as some of us here know, a lot of them seem to make it up as they go along.

        jj joop

        July 2, 2018 at 7:58 am

  8. Meanwhile…

    Andrew Coates

    June 28, 2018 at 11:24 am

    • What the heck does Jeremy Kyle know about work? This is as daft as New Labour having Lloyd Grossman looking into hospital food under Tony Blair and the Tories having Kirstie Allsopp looking into housing under David Cameron. The issues around such issues need experts not personalities to scrutinise them. Even so Jeremy effing Kyle? WTF? Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel. Shit!


      June 28, 2018 at 3:23 pm

  9. In less than a fortnight up to 100,000 people are expected to descend on the capital to mark 70 years since the NHS was founded.

    Coach loads of colourful demonstrators will arrive from all corners of the country and the Mirror is today calling on you to join us at the #OurNHS70 march on Downing Street.

    Families will celebrate the great achievements and founding principles of a service which saw Britain lead the world.

    But it will also be a protest against the brutal cuts and privatisation which has left our treasured NHS on its knees.



    June 28, 2018 at 11:42 am

  10. There is no “considering” anything. People on legacy benefits were always going to begin being “migrated” from “legacy benefits” onto the Universal Credit system from July 2019 onwards.

    “The expansion of Universal Credit full service to a broader range of claimants started in May 2016, and will be completed in 2018. After the expansion process is complete, we will begin migrating claimants on legacy benefits, like Jobseeker’s Allowance and Tax Credits, to the full service from July 2019.”



    June 28, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    • So we will all have a period of no benefits for 5 weeks…..?

      Andrew Coates

      June 28, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      • thats what it looks like but i plan to get a budgeting loan b4 i am changed over to make sure im covered either way 😉


        June 28, 2018 at 3:29 pm

      • At least five weeks… some have been kept waiting more than five months…


        June 28, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      • If you don’t have a pssport or driving lic the wait will be longer.


        July 1, 2018 at 11:23 am

    • Moving people from the old system to the half-arsed new system is going to be fun. Presumably people already in receipt of benefits won’t have to go through the initial stage of proving their identity and so, theoretically, moving from Jobseeker’s Allowance onto Universal Credit might only involve a single one month wait to transfer from fortnightly to monthly payments. Housing benefit and Local Housing Allowance which are paid locally, direct to landlords by local authorities, I’m not sure about. It might involve having to supply details of tenancies and rent payments to the DWP by local authorities, or it might have to come from claimants, directly; then, at some point, the local authority housing benefit/LHA will stop and resume in four weeks time as part of Universal Credit entitlements with most people paying that rent money to their landlord themselves in some way, e.g., direct debit or whatever. Christ knows what happens to people getting Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), or Working Tax Credit!

      As far as I know nothing like this has ever been attempted anywhere in the world before!

      Plus in-work conditionality is going to get inflicted on many working claimants who are going to have to fit various amounts of job-search into ever changing work patterns, obligated to try to find “more hours, more jobs or a better job” whenever their income from employment is less than 35 hours on the minimum wage and regularly meet with Work Coaches to discuss their efforts just as if they weren’t working at all, and the whole system is going to have to cope with very complex cases involving men, women and children moving in and out of messy and sometimes unconventional relationships, in and out of work, moving home, with changing health conditions and scores of other factors, taking account of every change and readjusting entitlement in real time 24/7 with every claimant supposed to manage his/her claim online even though he/she might not have a computer, internet access, or ever seen or used a QWERTY keyboard before.

      Based on the successful roll out of Universal Credit so far what could possibly go wrong with any of that?

      Everybody will live happily ever after.



      June 29, 2018 at 9:22 am

    • Ironic thing is as a worker I don’t get any tax credits for living costs I just get housing benefit and council tax support. I understand workers can be sanctioned from the housing or child elements of UC up to 73.10 a week? Well I don’t get even that much housing benefit lol….


      June 29, 2018 at 5:02 am

      • Hold the phone there Katrehman as chances are your already on the lowest amount of council tax payable meaning it wont be reduced further but you would still be expected to accrue a lengthy debt assuming you pay your landlord as a primary over council tax.
        So basically say to yourself can you survive on your wages alone without any government assistance permanently without causing ill health to yourself and children if you have any, deemed neglect if you have children under age (ie not feeding them adequately, clothing,etc) . Remember however piffle in amount if not this year,definitely next year you will still owe the council tax amount accrued in the previous year.meaning the min threshold will rise to include. Add in ill health meaning SSP only rather than a full wage translating into even less money and thus causing a bigger debt that is not going to go away ever and will be extracted like legally and forcibly from your weekly/monthly wages in the guise of an AEO or should i specifically say CTEO.

        Just because you receive less does not make for you suffering less dependent on your conclusion of wages and the cost you require to live.


        June 29, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      • How much will be taken from my wage?

        The amount deducted is calculated based on a percentage of your net pay as detailed in the tables below.

        Weekly pay

        Net weekly earnings Weekly deductions Deduction rate
        Not exceeding £75 Nil 0%
        Exceeding £75 but not exceeding £135 £2.25 to £4.05 3%
        Exceeding £135 but not exceeding £185 £6.75 to £9.25 5%
        Exceeding £185 but not exceeding £225 £12.95 to £15.75 7%
        Exceeding £225 but not exceeding £355 £27.00 to £42.60 12%
        Exceeding £355 but not exceeding £505 £60.35 to £85.85 17%
        Exceeding £505 Minimum £85.85 17% in respect of the first £505 and 50% of the remainder

        Monthly pay

        Net monthly earnings Monthly deductions Deduction rate
        Not exceeding £300 Nil 0%
        Exceeding £300 but not exceeding £550 £9.00 to £16.50 3%
        Exceeding £550 but not exceeding £740 £27.50 to £37.00 5%
        Exceeding £740 but not exceeding £900 £51.80 to £63.00 7%
        Exceeding £900 but not exceeding £1,420 £108.00 to £170.40 12%
        Exceeding £1,420 but not exceeding £2,020 £241.40 to £343.40 17%
        Exceeding £2,020 Minimum £343.40 17% in respect of the first £2,020 and 50% in respect of the remainder



        June 29, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      • UK National Minimum Wage @ £7.83 x 37.5 hours x 12% = £35.24 a week.

        This is what is deducted from your income if say you are unemployed and start working and owe council tax. Something to factor into your ‘better off in work’ calculations because the joke centre sure as hell won’t. If you are on benefits the maximum that can be deducted for overdue council tax is £3.70 a week.


        June 29, 2018 at 1:05 pm

      • Earnings Arrestment Order

        Will my employer know that I have an Earnings Arrestment Order?
        Yes, An Earnings Arrestment Order (EAO) instructs an employer to deduct money straight from your wages. Your employer then sends the money to the court. The deductions continue until the fine is paid in full. The employer calculates the rates of all deductions using fixed tables as set down by regulations.

        Can my employer dismiss me if I have an Earnings Arrestment of Order?
        An Earnings Arrestment Order may be considered a disciplinary matter by some employers.

        Can I lodge an appeal?
        There is no direct appeal to an Earnings Arrestment Order; you may wish to contact your solicitor for guidance. There is no direct appeal to a Arrestment of Funds Order, you may wish to contact your solicitor for guidance. To make contact within the Scottish Court Service, visit the contacts page. Each Sheriffdom within the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service has a Fines Enforcement Team.


        Fag Wrapper

        June 29, 2018 at 1:17 pm

  11. Reblogged this on seachranaidhe1.


    June 28, 2018 at 4:59 pm

  12. Be aware that job clubs ‘talk’ to the jobcentre. Be careful what you say and do in a job club because coachy will find out.

    Jobseeker WARNING!

    June 28, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    • coachy wont find out if you dont sign the providers contract in the first place 😉


      June 28, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    • No ted, they are talking behind your back like saying if you attended the job club, your attitude, etc. The creepy fuckers are all in it together.


      June 29, 2018 at 1:51 am

  13. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.


    June 29, 2018 at 6:02 am

  14. universal credit = population replacement

    the big picture

    June 29, 2018 at 8:43 am

  15. unemployed = mentally ill

    the jobcentre's attitude

    June 29, 2018 at 9:47 am

  16. unemployed = undiagnosed mental health condition

    the jobcentre's attitude

    June 29, 2018 at 9:48 am

  17. unemployed = treat jobseekers as if they are a nuts

    the jobcentre's attitude

    June 29, 2018 at 9:50 am

  18. Andrew Coates

    June 29, 2018 at 2:53 pm

  19. Esther McVey isn’t right is she? There is something wrong with the woman isn’t there?

    Sigmund Fraud

    June 29, 2018 at 3:04 pm

  20. UN to investigate Tory shameful record on poverty & human rights – the intentional mass deprivation of the poor & vulnerable is a huge crime against humanity from a country that is rich in resources.



    June 30, 2018 at 12:20 pm

  21. Jeremy Corbyn to say there is ‘mounting evidence austerity is killing people’

    He’s not wrong.


    July 1, 2018 at 11:55 am

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