Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

“Thousands of people will face a miserable Christmas” – UNITE Survey of Universal Credit Claimants.

with 33 comments

The Mirror reports,

Thousands of are facing a “very bleak Christmas” after a new survey found three quarters of people on botched benefits system Universal Credit said they had been left saddled with debt.

Three in five claimants said they had been pushed into struggling with housing costs because of the new welfare system.The survey of over 1,000 Universal Credit claimants was carried out by Unite the Union.

Other respondents raised the fear of eviction, and many reported problems with monthly budgeting on a low income.

The Department for Work and Pensions blasted the study as “completely unscientific” and said some of those questioned might not even be on UC.

Yet the DWP’s own research shows three quarters of those who moved onto UC struggle with bills constantly or “from time to time.”

Here is the UNITE Press Release:

Universal Credit pushing people into debt and housing problems reveals survey

More than three quarters of respondents in a survey of over 1,000 Universal Credit (UC) claimants said they had been put into debt, or pushed further into debt by UC with some forced to use foodbanks to survive as well as borrowing from friends and family. Shockingly 60 per cent of respondents said that they had been pushed into housing cost problems.

Thousands of people will face a miserable Christmas as a result of having to claim UC according to the new survey by Unite the Union published to coincide with a national day of action against UC on 1 December 2018 (see notes to editors).

During six weeks of October and November 1,141 people responded to the survey. The findings make grim reading and identify a number of issues facing a significant number of people claiming the benefit.

Rent arrears were raised by a number of people and the fear of eviction was evident in the responses. Many claimants reported the problems of monthly budgeting on a low income. Disabled people and those who are sick reported a huge drop in income as a result of moving on to UC.

The vast majority (82 per cent) have a negative view of the new benefit and a significant number had problems either claiming the benefit on-line or maintaining their claim through an on-line journal.

Unite is using the evidence collected from the survey to lobby politicians and is calling for a stop to the controversial new UC system.

Unite has called for Universal Credit to be scrapped before more damage is done.

Unite head of Community, Liane Groves said: “Universal Credit is causing misery and suffering as the survey results clearly show. Despite knowing this, the government is still intent on ploughing ahead regardless, while claimants are descending into debt, relying on food banks and getting into rent arrears and in some cases being evicted from their homes.

“Evidence from voluntary and community organisations as well as unions and local authorities seems to be ignored as the government presses on with the implementation of Universal Credit.

“Access to the benefit has been devised for the benefit of administrators not the recipients of Universal Credit. The damage done by forcing people into debt, far from helping people into work, as the government claims, is driving people away from the job market as spiralling debt impacts on people’s mental and physical wellbeing.

“As we head into winter, many claimants cannot afford warm clothing for themselves or their children and don’t have enough money to heat their homes. It will be a very bleak Christmas for thousands of families who are being abandoned by this government.”

“The survey was conducted outside job centres by volunteers and was also completed on-line. Unite will be submitting the raw data from the survey to independent academic researchers with a view to further analysis of the responses.”


Written by Andrew Coates

November 30, 2018 at 11:29 am

33 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    November 30, 2018 at 12:48 pm

  2. Andrew Coates

    November 30, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    • The DWP is in court for the sixth time in a year.

      That soon likes like it will be a seventh.

      Intimidation doesn’t work


      November 30, 2018 at 6:47 pm

      • (3)A claimant commitment is to be in such form as the Secretary of State thinks fit.


        This doen’t appear to have been given much thought or written in such a way that would be expected.An impression is also given that the claimant has little/ no imput into its contents.Its hardly surprising the outcome.


        December 1, 2018 at 3:01 pm

      • Ken

        I dont know why we bother with them at all, in the case of the unemployed as long as a claimant looks for work,accepts work if offered and contract agreed that can be viewed reasonable for the that individual to do, there is no need to be specific as to what and how one goes about it.
        Claimants are not children yet are treated as such for no reason at all i can find other than to provide DWP with ammo to nitpick should they choose to.
        Add in the 35 hour nonsense, like work mantra and its not hard to see the game, YES GAME, DWP is playing on behalf of this government.


        December 2, 2018 at 7:00 am

      • they dont want to play there games anymore with me lol 😉


        December 2, 2018 at 6:17 pm

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


    November 30, 2018 at 10:48 pm

  4. Superted!

    Have the jokecentre goons tried to put you on the Work and Health Programme?


    December 2, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    • they can send me where they like with a job seeker direction but the esf14-20 form will not be signed, and no 3rd party paperwork will be signed either in the form of contracts or enrollment forms or accept there terms and conditions to use there computers or let them process my personnel and sensitive data.

      i never done the first wp let alone this crap lol and i have never had to stay and do any off it since then either. 😉


      December 2, 2018 at 8:57 pm

      • @superted

        You recently said your Jobcentre had been hassling you because you weren’t getting many interviews. What’s been happening in the mean time? Are they still hassling you?

        jj joop

        December 4, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      • i just sign on and go not bothered with me since tribunal if u apply for every job going and dont get a interview not much they can do about it.

        after a while they just give up and dump u on to someone else to have a go.

        problem with me is they have all had a go and then they tried to just sanction me off benefits and that back fired big time lol.


        December 4, 2018 at 2:02 pm

  5. I’ve been put on WH programme, first I was told it’s not mandatory now I’ve been told that it is,got to go Reed in partnershit but I’m not signing anything.


    December 2, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    • if you sign there contracts then it is mandatory if you refuse then they will just ask you to leave.

      none of it has ever been mandatory as they need ur sig for funding 😉


      December 2, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    • It’s supposed to be mandatory if you’ve been unemployed for two years or more.

      “It (Work & Health Programme) will also provide support to those who have been unemployed for over two years, and it will be compulsory for this group.”

      Click to access CBP-7845.pdf

      Reed in Partnership are red hot as far as forcing people into work are concerned because they have quota and targets which they have to meet on a monthly basis. I was with them for a year and was put under a lot of pressure and poorly treated although I did get a few temporary jobs while with them, some which involved long commutes, which didn’t help me financially, were all part-time and, after 63% was clawed away thanks to the UC taper and my council tax contribution shooting up weren’t worth having really.

      Good luck.


      December 3, 2018 at 8:17 am

      • @Jim

        I have been told by a coach that spaces are limited, so it’s not mandatory. I am currently doing group signing and the coach has told me he’ll be taking a closer look at my situation in the new year. He is hugely annoyed because I don’t seem to be getting many interviews.

        jj joop

        December 4, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      • The Health and Work programme has been mentioned to me ,I won’t be going I’ve had many negative experiences/outcomes on these programmes’ to be of any use,while attitudes were plentiful anything positive didn’t exist and in one case two staff members’ complained to the company and I was promply withdrawn.If I had anything positive to say I would.

        Superted is completely right regarding these courses,signing away rights weakens you and you’ve then placed yourself in a situation where anything can happen.


        December 7, 2018 at 2:04 pm

  6. Once we have left the EU the Tory government will abolish much of the EU human rights and worker’s rights laws which protect people in the UK and prevent them from being exploited and, probably, much of the data privacy legislation, also from the EU, to give government and others the right to snoop and force people to use IT systems in order to access benefits and track people online which are currently illegal.

    The future of the UK looks set to be a brave new sweatshop world with the whip hand given over to the government of the day and employers, with much more license to treat ordinary people worse and listen to them less. It’s such a shame that people who voted to remain in the EU will have to suffer along with those who voted leave equally.

    The future isn’t what it used to be.


    December 3, 2018 at 8:06 am

    • A zero hour contract and be downloaded here for free,as can be seen theres little in the way of security of a wage for those under its terms.


      Click to access zero-hours-contract-template-free-download.pdf


      December 3, 2018 at 8:31 pm

      • @ken

        Thanks for this download. The Jobcentre have been trying to prompt me to apply for zero hours jobs, claiming they’re not really that bad. I mean, seriously.

        jj joop

        December 4, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    • JJ Joop

      A job is always subject to contract so while a claimant is mandated to look for work,apply for work, it all becomes a grey area once your offered work as technically its often only subject to agreeing a contract.
      This means the offer of a job isnt a real offer, its only a genuine offer after you agree enforceable terms via consent through a contract that’s meant to be of mutual interest/benefit to both parties.

      What happens in a contract negotiation is purely between you and the employer, DWP have no jurisdiction to inquire like the employer has no jurisdiction to inquire about your contract with DWP.

      Sure, DWP might well try to threaten, may even apply a sanction but ultimately if you said all the right things would lose at tribunal.
      The same can be applied to agencies who double up registration with employment contracts.

      People on benefits as a min (this is my opinion as whats good for the claimant and taxpayer) really shouldn’t apply for any work less than a P/time job with regular hours that will last a min of 6 months as stability is key.
      Also because of the nature of UC, employers should be made in the interests of good cohesion between employer and benefits to have to hold onto a new employee for a minimum equal to the waiting time for receipt of benefits. Only in the extreme where a new employee without good reason (ie disability/illness,proven theft,violence,etc) does less than a third of the target work rate when compared to other employees averages should the the employer have the right to let them go sooner.


      December 6, 2018 at 11:58 am

      • doug

        Spot on there, mate. Since the data protection laws came in, I’ve yet to hear of the DWP contacting an employer to find out if you applied for a job you said you’ve applied for, even though the CC says they “may” contact employers. And vice versa, employers today are data protection savvy as well.

        jj joop

        December 7, 2018 at 7:14 am

      • same here they will not dare contact an employer as they need ur consent to do so so just say no and the same goes for providers as you dont sign there paperwork and then they ring up the jcp to talk to ur work coach it is a breach of data as 1 they got no right to contact the dwp with no contracts signed is a big no no these days.

        when you strip away there out right lies and remove consent like emails phone numbers ect they cant do bugger all as you are the one in control.

        i have done it for years now and yet they all try and play there silly little games until i am put in front of them and the best so far they have come up with is sign on first thing in the hope i dont turn up lol.

        when i broke my arm in 2 places i did not even go to hospital until i signed on and get this the coach i was going to see was off sick pmsl.


        December 7, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      • Nothing to stop them talking off the record though, ted. For example Coachy will still know if you haven’t been attending your job club 😉 Just that they can’t use it against you or confront you outright with the ‘evidence’. You would have to ‘fess up when asked.

        Back in the day the joke centre would contact every employer who had posted an ad with the joke centre to find out who had got the job. They would also contact employers who hadn’t posted an ad with them This was to catch out anyone working ‘on the side’. Wonder if they still do that what with data protection, gdpr….

        Riff Raff

        December 7, 2018 at 4:07 pm

  7. I could not agree more with the comment on this Tweet:

    Andrew Coates

    December 3, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    • This story gets worse!

      Andrew Coates

      December 3, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    • We must all live within our means and if the lower orders grow hungry let them eat cake!

      Esther McVey MP (late of the DWP)

      December 3, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    • What a tosser! Last year when asked about food bank use spiralling upward last year he denied it was anything to do with poverty and blamed growing food poverty on “cash flow problems”. Presumably Raab meant that mismanagement of money was the root cause of food poverty rather than a lack of sufficient money to nourish human beings properly, i.e., the poor are responsible for their own poverty. But then this is the cock that said he was all for cutting taxes to the wealthy and thought that taxing comfortably off people to fund social security they would never need was wrong and “robbing Peter to pay Paul”.


      This absolute a-hole has been lauded in right-wing media recently as a possible successor to Theresa May!

      Can you believe it?!

      How our country declined to this sorry state I cannot fathom.


      December 3, 2018 at 5:49 pm

  8. Seriously ill mum refused benefits after DWP confuse her with another claimant


    December 3, 2018 at 5:24 pm

  9. Some people actually like universal credit.

    No I’m not making it up.



    I don’t normally comment on a person’s appearence but Mr Rowlands kind of looks like the kind of character I would imagine would approve of something dreadful like UC. He does hate Iain Duncan Smith however and so can’t be as much of a swivel-eyed loon as his picture might lead some to believe. Mind you liking UC only because you can work a bit and be a few bob better off without having to reclaim entitlements from scratch when the work is cut or stops, ignoring the suffering, poverty and misery UC has wreaked and is wreaking in the lives of a huge number of claimants, is just the sort of thing a swivel-eyed loon would say and do isn’t it?

    Or is it?

    People can form their own judgements.


    December 4, 2018 at 9:41 am

  10. I have plenty of bad experience with health and work programme, on advisor number 3, and I suffer from health anxiety where I see someone else, she makes things worst, my gp has referred me to see someone else who is helping me try to control my anxiety. without the mindfullness tapes, just talking.

    I prefer group mindfullness and talking about it as well.

    I been on a few courses but each time time I put I would not recommend provider to family and friends.

    I have the upper hand,


    December 7, 2018 at 6:25 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: