Ipswich Unemployed Action.

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Hold the Front Page! McDonnell says, “Universal Credit Has to Go!”

with 25 comments

Image result for UNiversal credit mcdonnell

LIVE: Labour likely to scrap Universal Credit – McDonnell

The shadow chancellor tells Sky’s Sophy Ridge the government’s benefit systems is past being fixed, in a change of policy.

Huff Post:

Universal Credit ‘Has Got To Go’, Says Labour’s John McDonnell

 Rachel Wearmouth

“I think most people now are coming to the conclusion it has got to be scrapped.”

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has said Universal Credit “has got to go” in the strongest signal yet that Labour would scrap the government’s flagship benefit scheme.

Speaking on Sky News, McDonnell said: “I think most people now are coming to the conclusion it has got to be scrapped.”

Labour has previously called for Universal Credit to be paused and reformed.

But McDonnell said the government’s attempts to shake-up the benefit “haven’t worked” and Universal Credit “is not the safety net that people expect when they need support.

“I think we’re moving to a position now where it’s not sustainable, it will have to go,” he said.

It comes amid reports that Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey has privately warned that families could lose £200 a month.

According to The Times, McVey told fellow cabinet members that the rollouts could result in millions of families losing out on the equivalent of £2,400 a year.

It is thought that half of single parents and two out of three working-age couples will be affected by the new system.

McDonnell said the system was “in shambles”.

“These are some of the poorest families in our communities and it’s just not acceptable,” he said. “We are moving toward the conclusion now that you can’t save the thing. It has got to go.”

Asked what Labour would replace Universal Credit with, McDonnell called for a cross-party debate and said it would consult widely.

Brought in by the former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, Universal Credit was designed to simplify the benefits system, but the benefit has been associated with a huge rise in the use of foodbanks.

McVey, on Monday, unveiled plans for a £39 million partnership with charity Citizens Advice to support applicants in getting their first payments on time.

Research by the Child Poverty Action Group in August warned that Universal Credit claimants in employment were facing cuts of more than £250 a month as a result of pay day coinciding with assessment periods.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 7, 2018 at 10:45 am

25 Responses

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  1. if esther think she can get a way wiht it shell go on wiht it n fi she think the Torys cant thay wil slow doun


    October 7, 2018 at 11:15 am

  2. Yada, yada, yada…. IF and it’s a big IF Labour have any intent of scrapping UC they would already have been ‘consulting’. AND they are not! They are not even listening!

    IF and it’s another BIG IF, Labour want to win the next election, they need to have detailed proposals for alternatives on paper before the election.

    Promises butter no parsnips………………….. Labour started all the changes under Blair and I for one will never forget that treachery.

    Unfortunately, Labour is still controlled by Blairite, snout in troughs, who see themselves as knowing better than their voters.

    I am still a member as the alternatives are unworkable, but hope for change back to a democratic Party of the People.

    Jonathan Skrine

    October 7, 2018 at 11:44 am

    • i jus wanna git riid of th tories


      October 7, 2018 at 12:50 pm

  3. They are consulting. The debate in the Labour Party is between those who want to ‘fix’ Universal Credit (as say, the PCS union wants to) and those who wish to abolish it – a view put forward by DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts and now UNITE Community policy)

    Andrew Coates

    October 7, 2018 at 11:47 am

    • ‘Consulting’ at arms length is the biggest problem.

      The PCS has an obvious bias and represents it’s members, rightly, BUT their members needs have nothing to do with the problems of UC.

      DPAC and UNITE community represent service users who bear the brunt of the abuse.

      I think you have demonstrated the problem for me. I am sure that any real consultation with service users without an intermediate organisation would show a very high percentage in favour of a complete scrapping of UC and a return to the original system as it would take many years to construct a workable replacement.

      I write as a member of the ‘Under Caste’ who is also a Disabled Person. I have experienced the PIP change already but have yet to suffer the horrors of Universal Credit.

      If they had properly computerised Income Support and DLA etc. first there would not have been the problems we are now suffering. A complete cull of the decision makers and senior managers at the DWP responsible for the failures would be a start – but the PCS wouldn’t like that………

      One thing is obvious the original systems (DLA, IS etc.) could have been more easily streamlined and combined. The decision to change everything had an entirely different motive and that was to reduce the ‘cost’ of benefits claimants.

      Jonathan Skrine

      October 7, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      • Exactly, you’ve grasped the nettle.

        But as we’ve all been arguing here for a long time, er like since the introduction of UC, Labour has not got round to working out what to do….

        Andrew Coates

        October 7, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      • “The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has said should be scrapped following warnings that millions of families could lose as much as £200 a month under the reformed benefits system.

        McDonnell hardened the party’s position on universal credit in a television interview on Sky News, during which he also said that austerity was deepening contrary to claims Theresa May made in her party conference speech.

        “I think we are at that stage where it’s not sustainable any more. It’s not a system that can work, it’s not a system that is providing that safety net,” he said.
        According to weekend reports, Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, recently briefed cabinet colleagues that half of single parents and about two-thirds of working-age couples with children would lose the equivalent of £2,400 a year.

        McDonnell said: “We’ve looked and looked, we can’t see that either government’s or other proposals could reform it. It’s in shambles, and it’s actually iniquitous as well. To have government ministers being privately briefed that families are going to lose £200 a month, it’s just not acceptable.”

        Brandon Lewis, the Conservative party chairman, struggled to address the issue of benefit cuts shortly afterwards in a BBC interview. The cabinet minister did not address the issue of financial impacts directly, and sought to defend the system more broadly.

        “As you move onto universal credit, the system looks at the individual and comes up with an approach to somebody’s needs,” Lewis told BBC’s Andrew Marr.

        He added that universal credit had been rolled out slowly in the UK – including his Great Yarmouth constituency – and the system was “getting more people into work in a sustainable way”.
        Lewis also hit back at McDonnell, challenging Labour to say how it would reform the benefits system, and noting that the shadow chancellor had advocated simplification of the sort intended by universal credit. “Of course he’s not able to outline what he would do exactly,” the Conservative chairman said.

        Earlier, McDonnell had said a “root and branch examination of how we can go forward” was required and “the principle of bringing together benefits in one so it’s a much simpler system is something we all support, but this hasn’t done that”.

        Labour has been edging toward advocating the abolition of universal credit, a complex system that merges six existing benefits into a single payment. At the party’s conference in Liverpool last month, McDonnell indicated that a review was likely to conclude that replacement not reform was the answer. On Sky News he went further. “You can’t save the thing, it’s got to go,” he said.”


        Andrew Coates

        October 7, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      • Unfortunately Labour has still to get out of the Social Services based provision based thinking and get with the Social Model, let alone the post Social Model of the 21st Century.

        Again based on ‘consulting’ those who have learned ‘all about’ disability’ in their Oxbridge degrees.

        Perhaps if there is a move forward to understanding that being born into the Under Caste is a form of disability there could be some change. (I imagine brains exploding amongst disabled and non-disabled apparatchiks at the concept).

        Many of the ‘educated’ movers and shakers within the Party prefer to fund Social Workers than give people what they need to escape problems caused by poverty. Jobs for the boys and girls who have proved their worthiness by gaining PPE degrees.


        PS – Been grasping the nettle for 63 years, when I was born into a family where my father was disabled, but never really understood until I became disabled myself at 15. Those who have not experienced can never understand…… It is exactly the same with Benefits Claimants.

        Jonathan Skrine

        October 7, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      • Criticism of the reliance on “experts” goes back a long way!


        Andrew Coates

        October 7, 2018 at 1:55 pm

  4. And what about the sinister sanctions regime, I wonder if they have any plans to scrap that, just thinking aloud, they more than likely won’t.


    October 7, 2018 at 12:51 pm

  5. The view of one of the two left factions battling it out for leadership of the PCS.

    “We believe that it is in our members’ and wider society’s interest that a Corbyn-led government grasp the opportunity to radically transform our social security system and to this end, consulting our members who deliver UC, we have been meeting shadow ministers to discuss and articulate the sort of system that we would want to see.

    This is about putting forward our Alternative.

    The social security system was originally conceived of as a collective and secure safety net for those falling on hard times but has been replaced by a system geared around individual responsibility.

    Andrew Coates

    October 7, 2018 at 1:47 pm

  6. […] via Hold the Front Page! McDonnell says, “Universal Credit Has to Go!” — Ipswich Unemployed Action… […]

  7. Tory cuts to lifeline benefits blasted as ’36 sick Scots a month DIE after being ordered to work’

    The tests have been heavily criticised for removing vital finance from claimants clearly incapable of work.


    The Tories have the country in meltdown.Their totally ignoring the liklyhood of finding work,this has plauged many of those on Jobseeking benefits also for many years also,its not opening up work at all just sanctions and cuts.Only the Tories can polish a turd.


    October 7, 2018 at 1:55 pm

  8. The tories are one big turd.


    October 7, 2018 at 3:34 pm

  9. labor shud be pushin arder to stop teh rollout of UC first


    October 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm

  10. Charlotte, apart from being an admirable campaigner, has participated in the Labour consultation.

    Andrew Coates

    October 8, 2018 at 11:03 am

  11. It isn’t just Universal Credit that needs to be scrapped. The DWP needs to be abolished as well, and a real effort made to ensure that the present staff don’t transfer over to whatever new organisation replaces it. There are a few good staff but the numbers are negligible.


    October 8, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    • In your dreams Dan!


      October 8, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      • Don’t knock it, dreams are all we have left.


        October 9, 2018 at 1:09 pm

  12. Here is what happens when you sign up for the voluntary Health & Work Programme/Fair Start

    1) Coachy gets a BONUS (Performance Related Pay)
    2) The Jobcentre Manager get a BIGGER BONUS. As do all those is the Jobcentre chain of command. The further up the chain the BIGGER the BONUS.
    3) The ‘provider’ get a ‘referral fee’.
    4) ‘Provider’ staff enjoy a cushy salary and perks for basically doing nothing.
    4) ‘Employers’ get a BOUNTY for you working for them for NOTHING?
    5) You will be sent to work in a death-trap recycling plant or a so-called ‘charity’ shop to sort through shitty knickers (‘charity’ shop managers are on £80,000+ plus car + expenses)
    6) If you are sanctioned whilst on these schemes it is another round of BONUSES and BOUNTYS for the DWP chain of command.

    What’s in in for the Jobseeker?

    1) Same benefits as usual (subject to sanction)
    2) No more money for extra expenses incurred whilst working for nothing such as food, clothing
    2) Being farmed out for slave labour for two (2) years.

    Say NO to these schemes!
    Say NO to participation!
    Do NOT ‘agree’ to take part in these schemes!
    Do NOT allow the Jobcentre to ‘refer’ you!

    Big Yellow Taxi

    October 9, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    • they dont get a referral fee any more and get funding from the esf or sfa but for them to get this they need ur sig on there contracts/enrollment forms.

      if you refuse then there is nothing they can do about it.

      tho if you do find work they can still get that payment from the prap system which is thousands if you can keep the job for 12 months.


      October 9, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      • They can’t do anything to you according to their rules, BUT they take no notice of how ridiculous their decisions are let alone the rules.

        A friend who is profoundly dyslexic (functionally illiterate) has been sanctioned in the past and is constantly threatened now for ‘Not doing enough online jobsearch’ if he doesn’t comply with every whim of the snot nosed pimply brats who ‘work’ at his jobcentre.

        Yes, you have read it right. Someone who cannot read the job adverts can be sanctioned for not going to their webshite to look for jobs.

        If someone wrote this in a novel it would be rejected for being totally unbelievable.


        P.S. I keep on humming La Marseillaise and wishing Watt Tyler had won!

        Jonathan Skrine

        October 9, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    • @ Big Yellow Taxi

      Yep. I think your description just about sums it up.

      jj joop

      October 9, 2018 at 6:50 pm

  13. Andrew Coates

    October 10, 2018 at 10:18 am

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