Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Gordon Brown Joins Charge Against Universal Credit: Warns of coming “Summer of Discontent”.

with 19 comments

Sign the Petition from Our Friends from the Mirror!

It’s obvious that Universal Credit is going the way of the Poll Tax.

People you would not expect to talk about these things are angry about it at the drop of  a hat.

The local CAB is jammed with the number of cases they have to help.

MPs, including Ipswich’s, are besieged by those in dire straits because of the system.

I would hazard a guess, just a little guess, and say that the DWP is well aware of the train crash that is Universal Credit.

Now after John McDonnell called on Sunday for getting rid of the system Gordon Brown is set to make this speech.

Halt universal credit or face summer of discontent, Gordon Brown tells PM

Guardian – Larry Elliott

Britain is on course for a summer of discontent and poll tax-style chaos unless Theresa May scraps plans for a full national rollout of universal credit next year, the former prime minister Gordon Brown is to say.

In a ferocious attack on the government’s flagship welfare reform, Brown predicts that a complex application process alongside Treasury spending cuts will plunge a million more children into poverty and increase reliance on food banks.

The former Labour leader, who sought to tackle poverty through the introduction of tax credits in the early 2000s, will say on Wednesday that the government’s amendments are cruel and that a U-turn is needed before more suffering is caused.

Even this Blog, which does not mince its words, is shaken by Brown’s next statement,

Speaking in Edinburgh, Brown will say: “Surely the greatest burning injustice of all is children having to go to school ill-clad and hungry. It is the poverty of the innocent – of children too young to know they are not to blame. But the Conservative government lit the torch of this burning injustice and they continue to fan the flames with their £3bn of cuts. A return to poll tax-style chaos in a summer of discontent lies ahead.”

Writing in the Mirror Gordon Brown explains:

Universal Credit is cruel far beyond austerity – and it’s becoming Theresa May’s Poll Tax, says Gordon Brown

It is now time to abandon the national roll out of the disastrous benefit-cutting Universal Credit .

Call a halt to this experiment – cruel and vindictive far beyond austerity – that is pushing child poverty among millions of hard-working British families to record levels.

From next July when three million more families begin to be herded on to Universal Credit, our country will face the kind of chaos we have not seen since the days of the hated Poll Tax.

With the convulsions of Brexit in March and the Universal Credit four months later we face a summer of division and despair.

From July each family on tax credits today will have to submit a wholly new form for Universal Credit – a policy Ministers have been warned will risk a breakdown in the system.

Instead the Government should order a review into what is going wrong – and give emergency help to those families now in despair because of benefit cuts.

With child poverty rising inexorably from three million in 2015 to four million now and to more than five million by 2022, October 29 should bring a Budget for children.

And to halt the rising epidemic, Child Benefit should be raised and child tax credits should be improved – as the one way, alongside a decent living wage, that we can get low-paid families out of poverty.

Today’s poverty explodes the myth that children are in poverty because their parents are work-shy and indolent.

Two thirds of the children in poverty have a parent in work – but earning too little to lift them out of poverty. In fact, nearly half – 42% – of households are in poverty where there is one breadwinner only in work and no other adult working.

The majority of the rest who are in poverty have disability in the family.

Savage Cuts are pushing them on to the breadline.

And after freezing Child Benefit and children’s tax credits for years Universal Credit is taking £3-billion out of the social security budget as it is introduced. Almost 3.2-million working families will, according to the Resolution Foundation, stand to lose an average of £48 a week.

Read the full article.

This stands out:

So I am calling today for the Government to abandon the 2019 national roll out of Universal Credit and end this harsh, harmful and hated experiment.

We need an urgent review on the lines suggested by the Child Poverty Action Group to be instigated and we must hear the voices of those who know what it’s like to have help cut short I join individuals and organisations who have called for a rethink including The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Church of Scotland, The Mayor of London, Disabled Against The Cuts, The Mayor of Liverpool, Mind, The Trussell Trust, Unison, Unite and Citizens Advice Bureau as well as the Child Poverty Action Group and most disabled charities.

The review should look closely at three options: redesign Universal Credit to make it fit for purpose; axing it in favour of reverting to the old system if UC is unfixable; or introduce a brand new system altogether.

The Mirror has launched a petition:

Universal Credit is harsher on people both in and out of work, and some families could end up £200 a month worse off.

The Mirror are demanding a halt to the expansion of UC and for a review to take place. We say there are three options:

  • Redesign UC to be fit for purpose
  • Axe it in favour of the old system if UC is unfixable
  • Introduce a brand new system

Sign our petition to stop the rollout of Universal Credit across Britain and to replace it with a fairer system.

You can sign through here.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 10, 2018 at 10:42 am

19 Responses

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  1. Andrew Coates

    October 10, 2018 at 3:24 pm

  2. With the Poll Tax people could refuse to pay. What can we do about Universal Credit? Refuse to take the money?

    Jonathan Skrine

    October 10, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    • Good point!!!!!

      Andrew Coates

      October 10, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      • A General Strike of Claimants. Empty Jobcentres. Phones silent in the UC call-centres. DWP staff looking around with nothing to do.

        Roger Tarrant

        October 11, 2018 at 12:28 pm

  3. Party politics is little more than theatre for the masses, don’t believe anything they say.


    October 10, 2018 at 4:43 pm

  4. Good for you Mr Brown, it’s about time we had someone worth listening to sticking up for benefit claimants!


    October 10, 2018 at 5:08 pm

  5. w&hp/fs is for simple folks u know like r a bit not rite in the head. look at em jc n provider leaflets. it’s all like
    folks who dont look the full shilling. they all have a great big stupid grin on em faces. mental cases toiling at recycling n shit stained knickers for nowt. you would have to be off ur head to sign up for this shit.

    mad hatter

    October 10, 2018 at 6:20 pm

  6. Is this the same Gordon Brown who stocked up on hundreds of ink cartridges for his pen before leaving office?


    October 10, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    • its same gordon brown what brot in workfare nd new deal nd flexibl new deal and ATOS nd privat cumpanys nto welfare which strted teh hole dam welfare reform ball rollin n teh frst place


      October 10, 2018 at 7:56 pm

  7. peepal movin to universal credit get transitional help nd wont lose money until there circumstncs change the torys ar vry sneeky nd the pain nd misery wil creep nto peepals lives slow nd stedy


    October 10, 2018 at 7:52 pm

  8. John Major: universal credit could result in backlash like poll tax
    Policy could damage Tories as much as community charge did in late 1980s, says former PM.

    “John Major has called on the government to rethink universal credit, saying many voters would regard it as unfair after it was suggested that tens of thousands of families could end up worse off.”
    The former Conservative prime minister launched a fierce attack on the flagship benefits scheme, saying it could do as much damage to the Conservative party as the poll tax did in the late 1980s with a potential backlash among voters.

    While the former Tory leader said he supported the logic behind the welfare changes, which are to be introduced for 3.95 million more people from July next year, he questioned whether they were workable in practice.

    Andrew Coates

    October 11, 2018 at 10:14 am

  9. more on uc

    Universal Credit: 580,000 People Risk Losing Benefit Payments In Next Roll Out Of Reforms

    latest data shows that a “worryingly high” rate of claims are not being successfully processed onto the new system, HuffPost UK can reveal, with 29% closed or not paid.

    If the current claim failure rates were replicated in the next stage of Universal Credit roll-out then 580,000 people who are currently receiving benefits, including many low income families who are in work and receiving income support, would lose out on payments.



    October 11, 2018 at 10:25 am

  10. Universal Credit has been cruel and vindictive right from the start. The Tories have only been concerned about Taxpayers , and don’t give a toss for the unemployed. All Universal Credit does is force people off benefit into the sort of crap zero-hour work they could have refused under the JSA system. And this is the great ‘Welfare Revolution’. What a joke.

    Harry Thomas

    October 11, 2018 at 10:55 am

  11. one for the many out there

    when will austerity be over for the poorest and most vulnerable – considering 75% of social security cuts haven’t bitten yet?


    October 11, 2018 at 11:52 am

  12. If you would like to toil in a recycling plant or sort through shit-stained knickers in a ‘charity’ shop for nowt then speak to your Work Coach about the new Health & Work Programme/Fair Start. Your Work Coach will arrange for you to be referred to a Specialist Provider. Places are limited and being snapped up. So act now!

    DWP News

    October 11, 2018 at 12:45 pm

  13. Andrew Coates

    October 11, 2018 at 2:29 pm

  14. No evidence that benefit sanctions work, finds secret DWP report


    October 11, 2018 at 4:58 pm

  15. Diabetic woman, 27, died after slipping into a coma when her benefits were stopped and she ‘couldn’t afford to eat’

    Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/people/diabetic-woman-died-after-coma-benefits-stopped-employment-support-allowance-sanction/


    October 11, 2018 at 5:31 pm

  16. The media is turning against universal credit. Right-wing papers, like the Telegraph and Times, as well a right-wing tabloids, like the Sun and Daily Mail, and centrist come left-wing papers like the Guardian and Daily Mirror, are all publishing critical articles on UC and slamming it universally. UC has no friends other than the government and, perhaps, centre for social justice (who thought the shit up), pretty much only enemies.

    I really can’t see how the government will be able to press on with rolling out UC without favourable support from the media. When everybody turns against a policy, e.g., poll tax and more recently the dementia tax, it is near to impossible to pursue it.


    October 11, 2018 at 6:11 pm

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