Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Benefits Freeze Adds to Universal Credit Misery.

with 101 comments

Image result for universal credit cartoon

More than the usual ‘system error’.

The controversy about Universal Credit continues to develop.

Today the Currant Bun, not the Claimants’ chum,  headlines

Universal Credit revolt by THIRTY Tory MPs as they urge Chancellor to plug £2bn black hole which will leave millions worse off.

At least two dozen have signed a letter to the Treasury highlighting their fears to the Chancellor – urging him that an extra £2billion is needed for the reform.

Around a million people are expected to go onto Universal Credit next year as part of the rollout to everyone over the next five years.

The letter reads: “As it stands 3.2million working families are expected to be worse off, with an average loss of £48 a week.

“Enabling hard working parents to keep more of what they earn and thus encouraging them to take up more work is at the heart of Conservative policy.

“This measure would boost the incomes of 9.6million low income parents and children.”

In July 2015, having promised £12 billion of welfare cuts – reportedly on the assumption that the Liberal Democrats would argue this down – George Osborne announced exactly that. Chief among these cuts was a further working age benefits freeze. So no matter what the rate of inflation was, benefits would not be increased in April 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019.

One thing that risks being forgotten is the impact of the Benefit Freeze.

Last week (October the 13th) the Resolution Foundation published this.

Despite ‘the end of austerity’, April promises another deep benefit cut

Adam Corlett.

How important this nominal freeze would prove to be couldn’t be known exactly in advance – only predicted – as its real impact depends on inflation. At the time, it was thought that inflation would be below 2 per cent in every year, as the table below shows. At first, the inflation forecast actually proved too high, with very small price rises in 2015 and 2016. This meant that the benefits freeze had only a limited impact in its first two years. But with the Brexit vote and resultant price increases, CPI inflation reached 3 per cent in September 2017. Normally, that September figure would have been used to uprate working-age benefits for the next tax year but, due to the freeze, that didn’t happen. And now inflation for September 2018 is expected to be around 2.7 per cent. Working-age families will again be denied that inflationary benefits increase next April.

Overall, the real cut to many benefits from the four-year freeze is over 6 per cent (and that’s before considering separate or earlier cuts).

….

If we exclude pensioners and working-age non-parents, the impacts become even clearer. The average couple with kids in the bottom half of the income distribution will be £620 poorer in 2019-20 than if inflationary uprating had occurred since 2016-17, and the average poorer single parent will be £760 worse off. The April 2019 freeze alone will mean a £210 hit for an average poorer couple with kids and £260 for poorer single parents.

This chart is depressing to look at.

This, the long-term decline in the value of benefits, is significant.

Corlett’s conclusion is important:

Whether or not the final freeze goes ahead, there is also a tough question for the opposition parties. Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats have all said they would end the freeze. But CPI uprating is already set to return from April 2020. The big question is whether those parties would actually undo the real term cuts that have already happened (i.e. though a real terms increase) if they got the chance, or if that £5 billion, 6 per cent cut will simply be accepted as a fait accompli.

The talk of the town may be of ‘the end of austerity’ and ‘Brexit dividends’, but for low to middle income working-age families – particularly parents – the outlook is quite different. On top of weak pay growth, their outlook includes a further benefits freeze, the transition to Universal Credit with its slashed work allowances, the phasing out of the valuable ‘family element’ and phasing in of a two-child limit. Ending the freeze one year early, with benefits rising just after Brexit day, would help to turn that outlook around.

This is exactly the issue, what exactly would the parties do to repair the damage caused by the benefit freeze?

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Written by Andrew Coates

October 15, 2018 at 10:30 am

101 Responses

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  1. This is ideology in action. The Tories just don’t care. Not about the misery that Universal Credit will cause, which they know full well. Or the deliberate hardship imposed by this endless Benefits Freeze.

    George Harvell

    October 15, 2018 at 10:38 am

  2. Reblogged this on sdbast.

    sdbast

    October 15, 2018 at 10:58 am

  3. Over 24% of tax is now paid by the richest 1% of taxpayers, i.e., the richest 1% of society are paying more in tax than ever before. But since the Tories lowered the top rate of income tax how can this be happening? Answer: Because the richest 1% of taxpayers have massively increased their incomes, even during the worst global economic crash for a century and its aftermath: The super-rich are not paying more because they are taxed more they are paying more tax because they enjoy much bigger personal incomes than ever before.

    Taxing the incomes of such privileged people more is an obvious measure that every party, other than the Conservatives that is, would probably favour given the parlous state of the economy. Also since most wealth exists invisibly “off the books” for the most part any sensible government interested in reducing inequality and poverty should be thinking about taxing hidden wealth such as land, property, works of art, rare wines, valuable antiques and so on substantially more than at present. The super-rich often conceal wealth in assets which appreciate over time, significantly increasing in value over the years, and taxing appreciating assets like these is another policy that should be looked into an considered.

    The Conservatives simply cannot keep lowering tax thresholds for everybody, benefiting the rich far more than the poor, and cutting direct taxation, paying for it by slashing social security budgets and increasing poverty in leaps and bounds.

    The game is up and the time to pay the piper has finally well and truly arrived in spades.

    Kinky

    October 15, 2018 at 11:13 am

    • Having worked for HMRC I don’t know where the daft notion came from that the rich don’t pay tax but I can categorically state that the rich DO pay tax. Without naming names or publishing anyone’s tax return, the rich are paying 40% of their income in tax. It is eye-boggling when you see someone earning a mere £100,000,000 paying £40,000,000 in tax.

      Ex-HMRC

      October 15, 2018 at 11:27 am

      • Who do you think pays your benefits, Coates? The rich. And what else? Not public sectors workers. No, it’s productive industries, like real companies that make and sell stuff, the biggest of which is the must-maligned defence industry, massive companies such as British Aerospace, Rolls Royce etc. This is why the UK can afford to carry so many unproductive passengers. So put down your “NO TO THE ARMS TRADE”, “BURN THE RICH” placards, Coates. That’s what’s paying your benefits, Coates.

        Martina Lockheed

        October 15, 2018 at 11:36 am

      • Shame Sarah Newton the disabled Minister Money Launders all disabled money. The rich are into money laundering to avoid paying tax.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 15, 2018 at 11:36 am

      • Tory Chat Bots on the rise – Bow to your new leader David Davis on Friday.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 15, 2018 at 11:37 am

      • It’s an unpalatable truth where you benefit money comes from, Stepping, innit?

        Razor Plate Stepping Sound

        October 15, 2018 at 11:48 am

      • The rich DO pay tax, Stepping. Get off your high horse. And stop talking nonsense. There are of course businesses such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Starbucks, Apple to name but a few that do not pay tax. but that is a whole different issue. There are many rich/famous people based in the UK paying a shedload of tax. And that’s a FACT!

        Tax Inspector

        October 15, 2018 at 11:55 am

      • PS Stepping. What do you contribute in terms of tax/productivity? Oh, that’s right. Absolutely NOTHING. Zero, zilch, nada!

        Tax Inspector

        October 15, 2018 at 11:57 am

      • So funny when Tory chat Bots start swearing. Are you confused that David Davis is now your leader. Brexit is a side show. Universal Credit is the failure. Who are paying the rich? The poor with jobs & the poor without jobs. I think using scapegoats is old hat – Tories re-call your chats bots they are mal-functioning as well as swearing.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 15, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      • Who said anywhere that the rich don’t pay tax? In my comment I explicitly said that they do pay tax and a bigger share of the overall tax take than ever before – not because they are taxed more but because THEY ARE MUCH RICHER THAN EVER BEFORE!

        Kinky

        October 15, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      • It was ‘Stepping’ that is trying to make out that the rich don’t pay any taxes. That ‘Stepping’ is the ‘engine room of the economy’, that without ‘Stepping’ the wheels would fall off the wagon, how we are all dependent on ‘Stepping’.

        Goldbuggs

        October 15, 2018 at 4:05 pm

      • Seems like the rich are killing the poor to become richer.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 15, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    • The UK has the world’s 2nd largest arms industry just behind the USA. Quite remarkable for such a tiny island.

      The Melon Farmers Co-Operative

      October 15, 2018 at 11:45 am

      • Selling weapons to very dodgy countries is not something that our country should be doing. Giving an bloody awful backward regime like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the means to kill men, women and children in Yemen against international law is a dishonourable and terrible thing to do. Check out the list of UK weapons customers below:

        https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1h3Jb-cS6ciuxlJhy9GswIG8c4wMv6hIBcrPFfYmCxZg/pub?output=html

        Not very nice company to be in.

        Birds of a feather and all that.

        Kinky

        October 15, 2018 at 5:43 pm

      • One of my mates was doing security at a UK airport. The gunpowder detector went off so they had to open the crates. And guess what they found? GUNS! (the guns are fired to test them) Guns made in the UK and bound for ISRAEL!

        Felicity

        October 15, 2018 at 7:01 pm

  4. The Tory supporting Sun, scenting blood in the water, joins the campaign against universal credit:

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7495730/universal-credit-rollout-rebellion-tory-mps/

    Kinky

    October 15, 2018 at 11:25 am

    • why bother to pay tax when the uk debt just keeps going up after 10 years we have not paid 1p off it yet its gone up x4.

      http://www.nationaldebtclock.co.uk/

      £ 33.565
      Debt per citizen

      £ 57.732
      Debt per taxpayer

      UK National Debt Surpassed £1 Trillion

      Mainstream media headlines today are focused on Britain’s record national debt, which just surpassed £1 trillion, a figure that can only exponentially increase unless the entire mechanism of Government finance is overhauled. The truth however is much worse, factoring in all liabilities including state and public sector pensions, the real national debt is closer to £4.8 trillion, some £78,000 for every person in the UK.

      superted

      October 15, 2018 at 1:58 pm

      • And how much does the US owe? Trump only knows!

        Auntie & Uncle Sam

        October 15, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      • But what if the UK was in the black? It is monopoly money borrowed of the Rothschild’s bank. The UK has no intention of paying it back. What are the Rothschild’s bank going to do? Send in the Sheriffs? Or just print some more. And what is ‘money’? A man-made arbitrary construct? What is more important? The ‘national debt’ or food on your plate?

        Goldbuggs

        October 15, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      • The lion’s share of the UK’s national debt is owned by insurance companies and pension funds.

        Kinky

        October 15, 2018 at 5:28 pm

  5. Message in a bottle.

    Violet

    October 15, 2018 at 11:26 am

    • How very apt Violet! The benefit system is more like a penal system, punish the unemployed punish the sick and disabled and now the working poor are being targeted… who would have thought years ago that Social Security would end up being used as a weapon against us!

      Petunia

      October 15, 2018 at 11:49 am

  6. Benefit freeze is another form of sanctions. The work coach is now wanting me to 28 hours a day or I will be sanctioned. To explain there are only 24 hours in a day does not matter & the fact that I questioned it means sanctions. Ashes to ashes dust to work dust. Slavery had sanctions like no food for the next week. The whole Universal Credit transfer has problems with its IT & the paperwork from PIP & ESA to go on to digital format. ESA & PIP post room – Oh we got 5 more sacks of PIP & ESA letters & forms, where shall we put them? The manager says – Put them in the broom cupboard with the other 120 sacked of letters & forms we have collected over the past 5 years. Oh no we just found another 120 sacks of ESA & Pip letters & forms in another broom cupboard, the one we never use. So there is a back log then. Sanctions cover the DWPs incompetence. How about hiring a skip !!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 15, 2018 at 11:35 am

  7. Martina Lockheed: you mean the well-off people who spend their lives taking the lion’s share of company income (speaking only of the honest ones) deserve our gratitude?

    Read this book:

    Capital in the Twenty-First Century Thomas Piketty.

    “The central thesis of the book is that inequality is not an accident, but rather a feature of capitalism, and can only be reversed through state interventionism.[17] The book thus argues that, unless capitalism is reformed, the very democratic order will be threatened.[17]

    Piketty bases his argument on a formula that relates the rate of return on capital (r) to economic growth (g), where r includes profits, dividends, interest, rents and other income from capital and g is measured in income or output. He argues that when the rate of growth is low, then wealth tends to accumulate more quickly from r than from labor and tends to accumulate more among the top 10% and 1%, increasing inequality. Thus the fundamental force for divergence and greater wealth inequality can be summed up in the inequality r > g. He analyzes inheritance from the perspective of the same formula.

    Income inequality as measured by the income of the top 1% in several countries. Inequality tended to drop in the middle of the century but has increased in the past several decades.
    The book argues that there was a trend towards higher inequality which was reversed between 1930 and 1975 due to unique circumstances: the two world wars, the Great Depression and a debt-fueled recession destroyed much wealth, particularly that owned by the elite.[18] These events prompted governments to undertake steps towards redistributing income, especially in the post-World War II period. The fast, worldwide economic growth of that time began to reduce the importance of inherited wealth in the global economy.[18]

    The book argues that the world today is returning towards “patrimonial capitalism”, in which much of the economy is dominated by inherited wealth: the power of this economic class is increasing, threatening to create an oligarchy.[19] Piketty cites novels by Honoré de Balzac, Jane Austen and Henry James[18] to describe the rigid class structure based on accumulated capital that existed in England and France in the early 1800s.

    Piketty proposes that a progressive annual global wealth tax of up to 2%, combined with a progressive income tax reaching as high as 80%, would reduce inequality,[18] although he says that such a tax “would be politically impossible”.[20]

    Piketty believes the growth rate will once again fall below the rate of return, and the twentieth century will be an aberration in terms of inequality[21]
    Without tax adjustment, Piketty predicts a world of low economic growth and extreme inequality. His data show that over long periods of time, the average return on investment outpaces productivity-based income by a wide margin.[18] He dismisses the idea that bursts of productivity resulting from technological advances can be relied on to return sustained economic growth; we should not expect “a more just and rational order” to arise based on “caprices of technology”,[18] and return on investment can increase when technology can be substituted for people.[20]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_in_the_Twenty-First_Century

    Andrew Coates

    October 15, 2018 at 11:57 am

    • Trust Andrew Coates to dust off an old 18th century ‘Marxist’ tome to justify his position 😉 Sigh!

      Das Kapital

      October 15, 2018 at 12:01 pm

      • Know your Tory Chat Bot history !!!

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 15, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    • “a progressive income tax reaching as high as 80%, would reduce inequality, although he says that such a tax “would be politically impossible”” Why? Denis Healy when he was Chancellor had an income tax rate of 98%

      Historian

      October 15, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      • It’s only 45% now and 50% under New Labour.

        Kinky

        October 15, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      • And it was a lot harder to hide your money back in the 70s when Healy was Chancellor.

        Monty Carlo

        October 16, 2018 at 8:43 am

  8. Heart-rending case of somebody in multiple difficulties, above her benefits were stopped,

    Andrew Coates

    October 15, 2018 at 2:59 pm

  9. The system of “local welfare” schemes set up less than five years ago to provide emergency help to England’s poorest families, often to help them cope with delays and sanctions to their benefits, is on the verge of collapse, say poverty campaigners.

    A survey of more than 150 council-run schemes by Church Action on Poverty found that nearly a quarter had been shut down since 2013, while a further quarter have reduced spending by 85% or more. More are expected to close in the next few months.

    The demise of local welfare would put tens of thousands of vulnerable people at increased risk of hunger, debt and destitution, the charity said.

    The system was designed to help people on low incomes deal with unexpected hardship, such as a lack of money caused by benefit payment problems, or domestic crises such broken boilers, house fires and flooding.

    Huge cuts to council budgets have left the system, which replaced the old social fund, struggling to survive. Provision is so uneven that thousands of people cannot access emergency help from the state, Church Action on Poverty said.

    “Local authority welfare schemes are increasingly threadbare, leaving families in many areas with nowhere to turn for help,” said the bishop of Manchester, David Walker. “It cannot be right for central and local government to abdicate responsibility for people in crisis when they need our help most.”

    In many areas, the most common reason for an application for crisis support is delays or sanctions to benefits, with some councils noting that the five-week minimum wait for a first universal credit payment is an emerging factor in rising demand.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/oct/14/local-welfare-schemes-in-england-on-brink-of-collapse-survey-finds?CMP=share_btn_tw

    Andrew Coates

    October 15, 2018 at 4:01 pm

  10. Where was this ‘rebellion’ when the benefits freeze was brought in? That’s right – no where to be seen. It is only when the usual ‘golden cows’ are affected that the drum-banging begins. The unemployed are going to be stuck with universal credit regardless. It’s the same old same, everyone fighting their own corner and to hell with anyone else. “I’m alright Jack until it affects me and my family… until then I couldn’t care less.” It is enough to make you sick to the stomach… a nauseating sight to behold.

    Jack & Jill

    October 15, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    • It’s not just the unemployed but the working poor, sick and disabled too as well as people who are home owners (mortgaging) or renting accommodation. In other words pretty much everybody who receives some kind of benefit or top-up who is of working age will have their lives affected by universal credit, most of them adversely, and this is why the government isn’t going to get away with their cutting agenda in respect to the needy this time around. There will be far too many, up to eight million citizens, who will suffer the effects of universal credit in some form or other, far too many for their mass suffering to be ignored.

      Kinky

      October 15, 2018 at 9:20 pm

      • Millions of households aren’t being switched to universal credit overnight though. You think HM Gov are stupid. The ‘migration’ to universal credit is going to take place over many years. Picking off individuals, households groups one at a time. So no-one complains because it doesn’t affect them. First they came for me…. It is causing great stress and anxiety (deliberately, and that is why it is being ‘rolled out’ and delayed constantly) The ‘roll-out’ of universal credit is a ‘mental death row; as those on ‘legacy’ benefits quake in their cell waiting for the keys jangling in the lock and realising that they have finally come for them.

        The Boiling Frogs

        October 16, 2018 at 9:16 am

  11. Pay no attention to ‘Stepping’. ‘Stepping’ was BANNED from the ‘Void’.

    Razor Plate

    October 15, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    • Banned off Facebook & twitter as well.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      October 15, 2018 at 7:43 pm

      • #facebooksclosingdown

        #twitterclosingdown

        #donaldtrumpclosingdown

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 15, 2018 at 7:44 pm

  12. Reblogged this on The Night Owl and commented:
    I was interested to see this post, as I’ve recently been told that my area is going to roll out Universal Credit, and so I went onto the government website to see how I would be affected and, at the ppresent rates, I’m going to end up being around £2,400 a year worse off – I’m really looking forward to bith starving, and freezing, while also being housebound, and also unable to keep myself, or my home, clean!

    Universal Credit is a disgrace, and the Tories have so much blood on their hands already, I guess they don’t care that it’s going to get very much worse for anyone who is being forced on to it 😦

    katythenightowl

    October 15, 2018 at 7:21 pm

  13. The thread seems to be hitting a raw nerve for the Tories. When the truth is told Tories get very very angry & come across as idiots that are involved with some sort of stepping witch hunt, which soon backfires.

    Human Rights Breaches by the Tories. The Tories on here are banging on about weapon sales trying to promote ATOS. One of ATOS services are weapons of war as well as being Health Care Professionals.

    Tory Chat Bots trying to me without my avatar. Who is getting in trouble now.

    150,000 State Sponsored Murders by the Tories since 2010. Corporate Manslaughter can be bin as a scapegoat.

    I also didn’t know Tory Chat Bots had feelings.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 15, 2018 at 7:42 pm

  14. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating!.

    A6er

    October 15, 2018 at 9:07 pm

  15. Just when you think Esther McVey has plumbed the depths and can’t sink any lower she outdoes herself.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7498601/universal-credit-women-prostitution-mps/

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/universal-credit-driving-women-prostitution-13420230

    Reminds me of the American politician Newt Gingrich who once said that the best way to help poor children was to buy them a computer so that they could make a fortune or at least a living “doing things” on the internet.

    Kinky

    October 15, 2018 at 9:13 pm

  16. One of the huge problems with universal credit is Housing Benefits. Before they used to go through your local council with proper official council heading paper & bar codes so as to cut down fraud. Now official forms are called questionnaires with no headed paper or bar code. Oh yes silly me Universal credit does not have any paperwork until you get the Claimant Commitment Form/Questionnaire. So the only receipt is the threat of sanctions if you do not comply to your receipt of Benefits. Housing Benefit then gets affected / infected with DWP fraud.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 15, 2018 at 9:30 pm

  17. Universal Credit doesn’t represent a saving to the Exchequer – in fact it will cost more. What Universal Credit is is a redistribution of the welfare pie from those who currently are receiving far too much to those who are receiving far too little. There are many people out there who are drawing a good ‘income’ from the welfare state. In fact, they are far better off than most people who do a hard days work to support themselves (and their families). They sit there quietly taking their money whilst all the media attention is focused on the unemployed with their £70 a week. They couldn’t care less who else is suffering. You only hear from them when their own income stream is threatened. This is when they loudly bang their drums and expect to muster support from those they don’t give a damn about to go out and fight their battles for them.

    Tinpan

    October 16, 2018 at 5:50 am

    • Obviously this is nonsense since more people lose far income on universal credit than those who gain. It’s not about redistribution since the overall amount received by all claimants is much less than it was under the old legacy system. This will not stand. Keep your eyes on the news and watch the government buckle.

      It’s nice that somebody is supporting universal credit and bigging it up though because it gives people like me a chance to point out the numerous things that are wrong with universal credit, bring them out into the open, and inform people about them.

      My bet is that the government will, as a first step, announced a further delay in the roll out of universal credit playing for time until it can change and inject billions more into the system in an attempt to sanitise the benefit and avoid political damage. If I were a sly and disgusting person that’s what I would do. It would cost nothing and give me time to try to find a way out of the mess.

      When you are in a hole the best first step is to stop digging.

      Kinky

      October 16, 2018 at 6:06 am

      • They won’t really support it though. It is a ‘strawman’ being put up for you to knock down… 😉

        Kooky

        October 16, 2018 at 8:37 am

  18. As an example two parent families with ONE earner will be better off but two parent families with TWO earners will be worse off.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/ampp3d/universal-credit-who-winners-losers-5171493

    Tinpan

    October 16, 2018 at 5:52 am

  19. BREAKING NEWS/ BREAKING NEWS/ BREAKING NEWS/

    The roll out of Universal Credit is to be delayed yet again…

    BREAKING NEWS/ BREAKING NEWS/ BREAKING NEWS/

    Breaking News

    October 16, 2018 at 6:02 am

  20. According the BBC News the bearded wanker (‘Sir’) Richard Branson pays himself a ‘dividend’ of £51 million a years from the money-spinning highly-profitable London-Glasgow ‘West Coast Line’ and at the same time lumps the tax-payer with a £2billion bill for the lost making London-Edinburgh ‘East Coast Line’. A clear case of privatising the gains and socialising the losses!

    Rail Commuter

    October 16, 2018 at 7:15 am

    • Dickie is not a productive business though. ‘Virgin’ is merely a marketing brand. He gets handed tax-payer assets for nothing, rebrands them and collects the profits. Northern Rock > Virgin Money… NHS > Virgin Healthcare…

      Jodie

      October 16, 2018 at 7:26 am

    • The Guardian article is effectively saying that those who will be at the brunt end of the changes brought in by Universal Credit already vote Tory – because voting for another party is the only way of ‘hurting the Tories at the ballot box’. Dual income ‘homeowners’, anyone? In that case they get what they deserve.
      Universal Credit has also been set up to include ‘winners’ and ‘losers’. As usual it boils down to everyone being concerned if THEY PERSONALLY will be better or worse off under Universal Credit and to Hell with everyone else. The Tories sure know a thing or two about human nature and how to play it to it’s full 😉

      Sponge

      October 16, 2018 at 8:19 am

      • That’s the point. The majority of people who will be claiming universal credit if it ever get fully rolled out who are capable of doing some kind of work won’t be the unemployed but people who are employed but unable to make ends meet because their earnings are too low through no fault of their own. As is the design of UC is cancerous. How on earth anything so obviously unfit for purpose could have been pushed even as far as it has reached now, with only about 12% of those destined for the benefit are on the benefit, is extraordinary and the only explanation for it as far as I can see is that Brexit saps pretty much all energy from the government and the succession of lousy secretary of states for work and pensions in charge of the project bookended by two of the worst, namely Iain Duncan Smith and Esther McVey who has the stunted emotional intelligence and empathy of a psychopath.

        Universal Credit rather than Brexit could destroy the current Conservative administration.

        Kicking the can down the road only delays the inevitable unless UC is changed out of all recognition.

        Kinky

        October 16, 2018 at 10:12 am

  21. We have calculated that we will be significantly better off if this universal credit ever comes in. On one hand we feel we should be opposed to universal credit in principle just because it is a Tory Government idea but on the other hand it is hard to turn down the extra cash – it will come in very handy.. And anyway, we think we need the money more than some dual income homeowners. We remember the fuss when the Government stopped tax credits for those earning over £60,000 a year. These are probably the exact same people who will lose out under universal credit . Greedy f***ers!

    The Browms

    October 16, 2018 at 8:30 am

  22. The Government could easily take on, say Amazon. Amazon pay their workers a pittance, treat them like shit and leave their workers dependent on Government handouts whilst at the same time avoiding paying tax. The Government could BAN them from trading in the UK. But you know why they can’t, don’t. Because the very people complaining about universal credit would be complaining that they could no longer get their shit from Amazon. Same with Facebook – block their sites like already happens with file-sharing sites. Same goes for Google – block them. Make accessing these websites ILLEGAL! Same with Starbucks – kick them off the High Street. And Apple. Look, no more over-priced iPhones. But people would complain – the VERY same people who complain about Universal Credit.

    Zoopy

    October 16, 2018 at 8:59 am

    • What? And shut down our Disabled People Against Universal Credit Action Facebook group? Don’t think so!

      Disabled People Against Universal Credit Action (DPAUCA)

      October 16, 2018 at 9:04 am

    • Google and Facebook consume 80% of online ad revenue between them. These parasites do not produce any actual content of their own. They are eating the internet alive.

      Publishers Assocciation

      October 16, 2018 at 9:34 am

    • The Tory/UKIP posts just get dumber and dumber. The most numerous demographic of Amazon customers is the busy well-heeled middle class who shop online to get goods cheaper and save themselves the time and trouble of going to real shops not long-suffering benefit claimants without much to spend.

      In passing surely this blog deserves a better class of right-wing trolls than the one(s) it attracts currently?

      It’s a bit disappointing that smarter and more intelligent right-wingers can’t be bothered to try to throw a spanner or two in the works. This blog definitely deserves attention from smarter and brainer troublemakers.

      Kinky

      October 16, 2018 at 10:00 am

  23. And more:

    https://metro.co.uk/2018/10/16/universal-credit-should-be-stopped-to-prevent-people-falling-into-crippling-debt-8042829/

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6280861/Flagship-Universal-Credit-reforms-set-delayed-AGAIN.html

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7503308/universal-credit-roll-out-delayed-changes-claimants/

    When a project loses support and garners criticism to this extent, even from formerly sympathetic media, you know it’s in real trouble and the government responsible for whatever it is that is going wrong. The Tories are in deep sh1t and sinking deeper and deeper over time. My bet is that they will try to tweak UC in small and insignificant ways but not enough to make it acceptable to the public, especially if children end up suffering because of it. I really hope that Esther McVey doesn’t resign over Brexit because she deserves to face the music over her part in this sorry and disgraceful affair; spending “hundreds of millions” of pounds on UC will not be enough to save UC by a long chalk not mitigate the debt and suffering it causes much at all.

    Kinky

    October 16, 2018 at 10:21 am

    • You really think Corbyn (Labour) are going to get elected on the back of Universal Credit? The Universal Credit Project will continue on regardless of who is in ‘power’. Labour and Tory – two cheeks of the same arse!

      Mule

      October 16, 2018 at 10:27 am

    • Where is Iain Duncan Smith the ‘architect’ behind and his ‘think-tank’ the Centre for Social Justice who dreamt up this crock in all this?

      Mule

      October 16, 2018 at 10:29 am

    • Three things could be done immediately to ‘improve’ Universal Credit

      1) Switch it to a fortnightly payment cycle.

      2) Transfer claimants ‘seamlessly’ from ‘legacy’ benefits to universal credit with no interruption to their payments. Currently claimants are sent a letter that their current benefits are due to end and they have no more than a month to make an online claim for universal credit. When Unemployment Benefit changed to Jobseeker’s Allowance there wasn’t the same needless and unnecessary kerfuffle that we are seeing with Universal Credit.

      Esther's Little Helper

      October 16, 2018 at 10:45 am

      • And restore the cuts that Osborne made never believing that they would ever be implemented.

        Kinky

        October 16, 2018 at 11:28 am

  24. Scrap UC altogether, it has already cost over £50 billion & it was meant to save £12 billion. IDS Welfare Reform Baby is going to cost over £100 billion. A lot of that is in lawyers fees to cover up DWP suicides. The DWP commits suicide to cause DWP suicide aka State Sponsored Murder. After UC costing £100 billion the Tories can blame everyone on UC the scroungers for why it costs so much.

    I agree we need a better class of Tory Chat Bot Trolls because the ones we have are giving Tory suicide.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 16, 2018 at 11:15 am

  25. The only why the Tories can continue their slaughter is by getting a British Bill Of rights which Dodgy Dave was trying to do with Brexit. Once the UK has scrapped all Human Rights & rolled over to the UK bill Of rights they can make any rules up they like & call it Human Rights. Dictatorships dictate the state. But being the Tory party they have already set these bogus Bill Of Rights in motion hoping their Bill Of Rights will come in quick so as not to breech the Human Rights Laws of the UN.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 16, 2018 at 11:23 am

    • That is an important point since it was using Human Rights law, in line with European legislation, that a number of government decisions have been challenged,

      For example,

      From 16 March 2017, new PIP regulations prevented an award of the enhanced PIP mobility rate in cases where someone cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person unless it is “for reasons other than psychological distress”.

      This meant that those with serious mental health conditions, who are unable to plan or undertake a journey because of overwhelming psychological distress were only entitled to a lower level of support, if any.

      The High Court decision
      The Public Law Project’s client, RF, won on all three grounds of her challenge to these changes.

      The High Court Judge:

      quashed the new regulations because they discriminate against those with disabilities in breach of Human Rights Act 1998 obligations
      declared that the Secretary of State did not have lawful power to make the regulations (i.e. they were ‘ultra vires’) and should have consulted before making them.

      DR UK welcomes Govt decision not to appeal PIP psychological distress judgement
      19 January 2018.

      https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2017/november/legal-challenge-way-those-psychological-distress-are-treated-pip-rules

      Andrew Coates

      October 16, 2018 at 3:19 pm

  26. Half of the UK are on UC already, how about those people suffering? I live in social housing after I paid my rent I was left with £30 for bills and food for the month. I got a temporary job when this ended had no money or rent for 8 weeks as it’s based on previous months income. No wonder so many people are being evicted and using food banks.

    Raine

    October 16, 2018 at 11:39 am

    • Something like a million people are receiving universal credit at the moment.

      Kinky

      October 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm

  27. I agree that the benefits system needed an overhaul, but I don’t necessarily think that this was the right way to go. If they wanted to save money how about only paying child benefit for the first 2 children . More checks need to be made on people who are claiming the benefits, especially disability benefit. That way the people that actually need it are getting it and those who are cheating the system don’t.

    Debif

    October 16, 2018 at 11:47 am

    • There is a court case going on oop north at the moment. The DWP paid out disability benefits for someone who hadn’t been seen or heard of for 17 years – allegedly her ‘carers’ murdered her when she was 19 years old and fraudulently claimed £182,000 in disability benefits.

      Passinthro

      October 16, 2018 at 11:52 am

      • Probably ‘came to light’ when Tony Blair brought in the WCA (Work Capability Assessment) or summat?

        LucoHems

        October 16, 2018 at 11:59 am

      • This case is probably the reason the DWP are so quick to send the Police round to investigate whether a claim is fraudulent or not. Reading through what has been reported the DWP appear to have taken a long time to “suspect that something was not quite right”. The DWP then reported the matter to the social work department who in turn reported it to the Police.

        Meg

        October 16, 2018 at 7:15 pm

  28. If the Tories want to save money they should Means Test Child Benefits. People who already have money are claiming Child Benefits. Next scrap the WCA, once that has been done UC will be scrapped. Without contracts with ATOS, CAPITA & all the others. But the Tories are governed by these corporate companies because the Tory have interest in these companies as their first job. Politics is their second job. So of course Corporate Manslaughter works for the Tories. Universal Credit is State Sponsored Murder.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 16, 2018 at 12:01 pm

  29. the pm is registered on dunn and Bradstreet as a corporation same as the courts police stations local councils dwp and jcp offices ect as company’s for profit.

    https://www.expertinalllegalmatters.com/

    superted

    October 16, 2018 at 1:43 pm

  30. I’ve got a Work and Health Programme meeting on Friday at the jokecentre which will mean a trip to a poverty pimps(think it’s Shawtrust nob heads in my area)! Well I won’t be signing diddly squat so that should be over before its even started.

    Petunia

    October 16, 2018 at 2:42 pm

  31. Kinky

    October 16, 2018 at 2:48 pm

  32. An article from Izzy Hardman from the normally Conservative Spectator magazine:

    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/10/delays-to-universal-credit-wont-fix-its-fundamental-flaw/

    Kinky

    October 16, 2018 at 2:53 pm

  33. And more:

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/16/labour-seeks-to-force-publication-of-universal-credit-impact-analysis

    And, of course, Ms McVey’s little helper Mr Sharma denies that UC causes food poverty:

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tory-minister-faces-shouts-pathetic-13426655

    There’s always one isn’t there!

    Kinky

    October 16, 2018 at 3:55 pm

  34. Andrew Coates

    October 16, 2018 at 4:24 pm

  35. I know a women with 6 kids that had an affair multiple times, Met a man on a dating site with 6 kids. Complete car crash of a family, completely chaotic outfit without anything to show for the wheels barrows of cash they get.

    Warlock Pendragon

    October 17, 2018 at 5:58 am

    • And on a thread about universal credit going tits up your point is?

      Kinky

      October 17, 2018 at 8:01 am

  36. Government to scrap FREE ‘TV Licences’ for over 75s because “pensioners are getting richer”, “are living with younger relatives”. There are far too many “benefits” going to the well-heeled and those who don’t need them. Also it seems to be the case that the more benefits and premiums you qualify for the more freebies you are entitled to. But those on the lowest income – the unemployed – qualify for jack-shit.

    Jill

    October 17, 2018 at 6:50 am

  37. I am a single mum, with school age children, working over 30 hours a week in 2 jobs, my weekly top up tax credits buy our food, then my wages pay rent, bills, and sometimes cover my pets, so long as they don’t need emergency care.There is nothing left at all for luxuries, my 11 yr old has never been on a plane, the only one in her class apparently, but I can’t even afford our passports.I am terrified of going onto UC, there aren’t any more hours in the day for me to work, I’m in my 50s now and get tired, and without tax credits to top us up, we will sink. I’m not a sponger , I work hard, but can’t do any more than I do.

    BeeJay

    October 17, 2018 at 7:26 am

  38. Universal Credit is not moving people into jobs. Universal Credit is moving people into graves.

    Tino

    October 17, 2018 at 7:33 am

  39. Have the Tories realised that neo-liberalism does not work when it’s lazy neo-liberalism. The laziness means the disabled run neo-liberalism for the state. Why work when you have the disabled to do the dirty work for us. Thalidomide still lives & have not been killed off for a second time by the British Government. Medical judgements by non medical people is called fraud. The DWP who are responsible for their contracts are breaking the Data Protection Act by false medical information provided by one of their providers. The DWP decision maker then breaks the Data Protection Act by agreeing with the WCA results. I can at any time ask to see what info the DWP or any other Government department has on me. If there is info that is incorrect & I tell them it is incorrect & the DWP do not change it they are breaking the Data Protection Act with false information. Suicide can now be put on my job CV. Yes I worked in suicide for 8 years yet no employer is going to take on someone with suicidal suicide. So there we go get a job & kill the DWP suicide policy. DWP criminal charges without legal aid. The problem with scrapping Legal Aid is that the DWP now are in litigation with their lawyers aka DWP gagging order. Since there is no legal aid I can’t be in litigation & have a gagging order. That also means the DWP are breaking the Human Rights of people in the UK.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 17, 2018 at 8:58 am

  40. If I write a suicide note blaming the DWP for my suicide. They would ask the Police to hide the suicide note.

    Don’t get me wrong DWP I told you what would happen the next time you get the police involved, the DWP will be arrested for it. DWP suicide means what it says on the tin. DWP suicide. What that has to do with me is I am the DWPs scapegoat like all the other disabled people. Consult your lawyers DWP & they will say I am correct & you are in deep shit to pursue me in death threats.

    What a Tory failure. Suicides make the Tories powerful.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 17, 2018 at 9:06 am

  41. Outrage as disability assessment reports are ‘altered’ to refuse benefits support

    DWP accused of “tampering” with assessment reports in order to refuse disabled people benefits.

    Welfare Weekly – 16th Oct 2018

    There is growing evidence to suggest that disability benefit assessment reports are being deliberately “altered” or “tampered” with in order to deny disabled people the benefits support they desperately need, it has been revealed.

    Evidence suggests that assessment reports for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) sent to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are routinely “audited” by DWP officials so that the altered reports bear little or no resemblance to the originals.

    Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey MP, is now facing calls to explain the reasons behind these “audits”, after SNP MP Marion Fellows highlighted the case of one of her constituents who was refused PIP based on an audited assessment report by a DWP official.

    Read More: –
    https://welfareweekly.com/outrage-as-disability-assessment-reports-are-altered-to-refuse-benefits-support/

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 17, 2018 at 10:36 am

    • “”””When he appealed against the decision to refuse his claim for PIP, the gentleman concerned was sent copies of both the original and altered reports.”””””

      Null & Void – Not fit for Purpose – Not Worth the Paper Its Written on.

      Mistakes like that mean Esther McVey still has not answered the question. Not Fit For Purpose.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      October 17, 2018 at 10:39 am

      • BERLIN NOVEMBER 2018 AND LONDON NOVEMBER 2018. Its the start of something nasty but this time the ”nasties” are the Tory Party..Who said it won’t happen again is wrong

        Zefiros5000

        October 17, 2018 at 12:31 pm

  42. Andrew Coates

    October 17, 2018 at 3:41 pm

  43. The fact that universal credit is getting panned almost as much as Brexit (another mess) shows how the tide is turning against this mistaken social policy. Considering that the people who gave us universal credit are also the one’s “negotiating” the UK’s exit from the European Union the future of our country isn’t looking too bright. Unemployment down again today but it doesn’t feel like the wheels of industry are turning with Britain forging ahead, everything being on the up and up with a bright future for all ahead. Things seem to me to be more dreary and even more run down than they were five or ten years ago.

    Kinky

    October 17, 2018 at 4:49 pm

  44. Disabled benefit claimants to get extra £1.7bn after underpayments

    Government to pay £970m arrears and £700m more in next seven years after correction

    Guardian – 17th Oct 2018

    An extra £1.67bn is to be paid to tens of thousands of disabled benefit claimants after years of underpayments, the government has revealed.

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was criticised for its handling of the employment and support allowance (ESA) after revealing that an estimated 180,000 recipients were due arrears payments totalling £970m.

    The cost of paying them at a higher rate after their claims have been corrected is estimated to add another £700m over the next seven years, a DWP analysis released on Wednesday showed.

    The arrears payments, which mainly cover a period between 2011 and 2014, are expected to average £5,000 and will be paid by the end of 2020.

    Read More: –
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/17/disabled-benefit-claimants-to-get-extra-16bn-after-rate-correction

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 17, 2018 at 7:42 pm

  45. So a nine year wait already. It is bound to take longer not 2020 but 2025. How about the DWP get off their arse & sort it out now rather than money laundering the money for another 2 years.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 17, 2018 at 7:46 pm

  46. the cover up, one of many

    Tories vote to ‘cover up’ impact of Universal Credit on people’s incomes

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tories-vote-cover-up-impact-13433651

    whoknw

    October 18, 2018 at 10:48 am

  47. Government finally honest about Universal Credit in embarrassing website blunder

    whoknw

    October 18, 2018 at 10:51 am


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