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Universal Credit, More Disasters as Commons Select Committee Probes “in-work progression”.

with 84 comments

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Every day there’s more stories in the media about the disaster known as Universal Credit.

You could start the morning by listing the latest:

Universal Credit bosses branded ‘morally corrupt’ after forcing family to repay £6.5k DWP payments blunder

Birmingham Live.

“The real duty they have is to prevent overpayments in the first place rather than forcing taxpayers to clear up after their mess”

Errors made by the Department for Work and Pensions mean that Billy Pierce and his partner have been paid too much for the past 14 months

Mr Pierce said he and his partner had no idea they were being overpaid because they had never received the new benefit before and had given the DWP all the correct information to calculate Universal Credit payments.

DWP have ordered the money to be repaid at a rate of £100 a month – which means it will take over five years to clear the debt.

DWP officials took months to correct payment mistakes, says Tower Hamlets council.

Even the Currant Bun tries to get in on the act:

Five-week Universal Credit delay forced me into B&B where my baby got covered in cocaine – now I’m stuck in a caravan’

Mum-of-two Kylie Goodyear, from Ipswich, blasts Government for trapping her family in poverty.

I stop for now because it’s all too familiar to our contributors.

Who have recently signaled another area of burning concern:  so-called “In-work Progression”.

Jim commented,

When the DWP piloted “in-work conditionality” the average increase in pay after twelve months with “work coach assistance” was, get this, an absolutely piffling £5.25 per week! Which blows the “work is the best way out of poverty” crap out of the water.

Here’s a link to the DWP report that spills the beans: Universal Credit: In-Work Progression Randomised Controlled Trial 

The Work and Pensions Committee are now conducting an inquiry, holding a session this very day, on the issue.

In-work Progression: latest Universal Credit inquiry launched

In 2016, the Committee launched an inquiry on “in-work progression” for people claiming Universal Credit. This is the name for the Government’s policy plan to encourage and support people who are in already in work and claiming Universal Credit to increase their pay, through more hours, or getting a better paying job. The Committee has previously described the plans as “potentially the most significant welfare reform since 1948”.

The Committee identified particular concerns, however, about the conditions that could be attached to any new “support” to assist people trying to increase their income from work.

Conditions or “conditionality” are already of course attached to job-seeking benefits: the requirements on every claimant who can work, or at least look for work to do so, as a condition of getting the benefit.

The other side of that is the sanction, a cut to part of your benefit if you fail to meet a condition of the benefit, like meeting with your Work Coach or going on a course, or to a job interview.

The Committee reported on the deep problems of Benefit sanctions late last year, and called on the Government not to introduce sanctions for people in work until there was robust evidence to show that they helped people to progress.

In the context of in-work progression,  conditions might include being obliged to seek extra hours of work, or continue to look for higher paid work while in your existing job.

How this would work in practice, and whether or how sanctions would apply if you couldn’t, for example, take on extra hours you were offered because of caring responsibilities, are among the questions the Committee will be looking at.

Among the concerns the Committee identified in its 2016 inquiry into In-work progression in Universal Credit were:

  • There is not yet comprehensive evidence on how to deliver an effective in-work service
  • JCP work coaches would have to develop new skills and become a new form of public servant
  • The case for in-work conditionality backed up by financial sanctions is untested so far

They state:

The Committee is now holding a follow-up inquiry, to look at the progress the Government is making, the readiness of Jobcentre Plus work coaches, and what more the Government could do to support people to progress in work.

This is happening today:

08 May 2019 9:30 am

Oral Evidence Session

Universal Credit: In-work progression

View details

Witness(es)

Stephen Evans, Chief Executive, Learning and Work Institute
Tony Wilson, Director, Institute for Employment Studies
Julia Waltham, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Working Families
Laura Dewar, Policy Officer, Gingerbread
Amanda Faull, Partnerships and Development Manager, Timewise Foundation
Sharlene McGee, Policy and Research Manager, Leonard Cheshire Disability

Location

Room 16, Palace of Westminster

Written by Andrew Coates

May 8, 2019 at 9:23 am

84 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on sdbast.

    sdbast

    May 8, 2019 at 10:03 am

  2. Jim *waves* 😀 , you’ve been mentioned in despatches 😀 (see above) 🙂

    Jemima

    May 8, 2019 at 10:10 am

    • It struck a chord, and I bet many of us know people in difficulty because of this ‘in-work’ stuff….

      Andrew Coates

      May 8, 2019 at 10:51 am

  3. Reblogged this on Tory Britain!.

    A6er

    May 8, 2019 at 10:41 am

    • We could all live withOUT the bullshitters and talkers but we wouldn’t last long without the essential low paid workers..

      Jemima

      May 8, 2019 at 3:45 pm

  4. The point is that the DWP’s own pilot of in-work progression shows that in-work conditionality doesn’t work.

    It was non other than friendly neighbourhood crypto-Tory Frank Field who stated that in-work conditionality was “potentially the most significant welfare reform since 1948”. No surprise there since Field is as dense as uranium and only slightly to the left politically to Attila the Hun. Why MPs cannot see the mess of problems associated with bad social policy like this and what dangers simplistic ideas like this would represent if implemented, right from the get-go, astonishes me. So much of Universal Credit stinks like rotten fish on ice and yet the powers that be seem unable to smell the foetid odour, probably because they stink worse themselves.

    The official DWP report mentioned show that in-work conditionality doesn’t work, or, more correctly, has such a minuscule positive effect on earnings as to make no difference to universal credit claimant’s income. Amber Rudd has been bigging up Work Coaches as if they are the solution to all woes when in fact, as far as in-work conditionality and progression to higher wages are concerned, the difference these people make in the lives of UC claimants is so negligible it might as well not exist at all: in-work conditionality helps hardly anyone to progress to higher wages and in doing so to work their way out of poverty.

    The whole thing is bollocks and what is worse the DWP know darn well that it is bollocks. How could anybody possibly think any government in a democracy could micromanage millions of people’s lives to that extent?

    Once Brexit is settled one way or the other shite like this will be the order of the day.

    Jim

    May 8, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    • This was a very interesting and informative programme despite being fronted by the Gruesome Twosome Jon Snow and is self-proclaimed ‘historian’ son Dan Snow. This is one of the programmes that Dan cut his broadcasting teeth on, now he ventures out the next without Daddy.

      Anyway, it proved your point Jim about ‘in work progression and Universal Credit. This programme clearly proved that there is no such thing as ‘in work progression’. Once you take up low-paid work you stay there.Pity it is no longer available on iplayer. It is as you and Jacques Ellul said a way of motivating people to work – temporary pain for a greater gain, but it is all a crock.

      “Father and son duo Peter and Dan Snow lift the lid on Britain’s last taboo. We don’t talk about it with our friends, and two-thirds of us keep it secret from our partner, but why are we all so secretive about what we get paid? Peter and Dan reveal who earns what in Britain, asking if the people who work the hardest get paid the most.”

      “asking if the people who work the hardest get paid the most” – the answer to that question is a big fat NO!
      It is the bullshitters, the talkers, the people who do jack-shit that earn the most. Menial low-paid hard work is neither rewarded nor respected. And strangely it is menial, low-paid hard work that is essential to society and the economy. We could all live with the bullshitters and talkers but we wouldn’t last long without the essential low paid workers…

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008m4c8

      Jemima

      May 8, 2019 at 3:41 pm

      • PETER Snow – the bloke with the ‘swing-o-meter’ on election nights – is Dan’s father. JON Snow is a Channel 4 News presenter. Easy to get snow mixed up though 😉

        Snowwoman

        May 9, 2019 at 3:10 pm

  5. Andrew Coates

    May 8, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    • Life under the Tories.

      The demand for Aylesbury’s Foodbank has almost increased by 100% over the last year.

      The number of emergency supplies handed out by food banks in Buckinghamshire has soared over the last year.

      The Trussell Trust said a record number of packages were handed out nationally, with benefits which are insufficient to cover living costs and payment delays for Universal Credit among the reasons given.

      Between April 2018 and March 2019, the charity handed out 4,556 emergency three-day food packages at food banks in Buckinghamshire – 32% of them to children.

      The total was a 32% increase on the previous year, when 3,460 were distributed.

      Every month they get just under two tonnes of stock donated to the Foodbank, and the same amount is handed back out.

      This meant that they had to move to larger premise last year, because they couldn’t cope

      Ultimately, it’s unacceptable that anyone should have to use a food bank in the first place.

      “The best route out of poverty is to help people into sustainable employment which, with record employment, we are doing.”

      https://www.mix96.co.uk/news/local/2862064/demand-for-aylesbury-foodbank-increases-by-almost-100/

      ken

      May 10, 2019 at 7:30 pm

  6. The only progression on Universal Credit is to be forced off benefits and into a cycle of low-paid insecure work.
    If you can call that progress. I can think of better descriptions.

    Jeff Smith

    May 8, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    • The case for in-work conditionality backed up by financial sanctions is untested so far

      Its hard to see how the state can dictate peoples’ working hours’ patterns’ and behaviour,its flawed to combine the two.Its like a horse being whipped passed the finishing line.

      All this has created is people seen more as worth then individuals,a shallow society,giving more rise to problems in communities locally.

      ken

      May 8, 2019 at 4:39 pm

      • It has been tested now by the DWP itself in a randomised pilot and fell on its face. Check out the link to the DWP report above.

        Jim

        May 8, 2019 at 5:52 pm

  7. And if the DWP had any decency they would do something about claimants with ergophobia.

    Charles Sutton

    May 8, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    • Ergophobia, ergasiophobia or ponophobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of work (manual labour, non-manual labour, etc.) or fear of finding employment. It may be a form of social phobia or performance anxiety.

      People with ergophobia experience undue anxiety about the workplace environment even though they realize their fear is irrational. Their fear may actually be a combination of fears, such as fear of failing at assigned tasks, speaking before groups at work (both of which are types of performance anxiety), socializing with co-workers (a type of social phobia), and other fears of emotional, psychological and/or physiological injuries.

      The term ergophobia comes from the Greek “ergon” (work) and “phobos” (fear).

      Ergophobic

      May 8, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    • The Jobcentre only exacerbate and make the condition worst though. They force jobseekers into UNPAID forced labour schemes and ‘punish’ them with punitive sanctions if they don’t comply, and all along being treated worse than a convicted criminal. As the late Iain Duncan Smith said these schemes are “designed to break claimants down so that when they return to the Jobcentre they are ready to engage with their advisor”. This presents a totally negative view of work and will only serve to make claimants even more ‘resistant’. Like childhood abuse the damage is already done and there is no going back. Jobcentre and their third-party collaborators are responsible for inflicting untold and irreparable damage on their victims.

      CWP Victim

      May 8, 2019 at 3:58 pm

      • i have not had to stay at any providers since 2009 the dwp has tried and failed now 28 times to sanction me for it and lost them all. 😉

        superted

        May 8, 2019 at 7:01 pm

  8. Who amongst us ergophobics has not seen the long queue at the local supermarket and felt a cold chill of despair ?
    A single cashier and a dozen heavy-laden trolleys. Desperately scanning, the tannoy calling for a store assistant that never comes. Or passed a building site, the endless noise, the hitting, the hammering, the digging. And then turned quickly, and taken the quiet way home.

    Charles Sutton

    May 8, 2019 at 4:21 pm

  9. ‘Poor decisions compounded by a failure to take accountability’ – MPs tear into Verify

    The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has published a damning report on GOV.UK Verify.

    MPs concluded that a project that began life with unrealistic ambitions has, ultimately, delivered a tool “that is not fit for purpose”

    The second conclusion of the report is that Verify’s users – particularly those making use of the platform to claim Universal Credit – have “been badly served by an onerous system that is not fit for purpose”.

    “Despite Universal Credit being Verify’s biggest customer, just 38% of Universal Credit claimants can successfully use Verify when applying for the benefit,” MPs added. “As well as being unfit for purpose, this is incurring extra costs for the taxpayer: the Department for Work & Pensions expects to spend around £40m over 10 years on processing applications for Universal Credit manually.”

    https://www.publictechnology.net/articles/news/%E2%80%98poor-decisions-compounded-failure-take-accountability%E2%80%99-%E2%80%93-mps-tear-verify

    ken

    May 8, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    • Never met anybody who uses Verify.

      Ro

      May 9, 2019 at 8:38 am

      • Universal Credit claimants in Caerphilly council homes owe £500k in unpaid rent

        “Mitigating the impact comes at a significant additional cost but the alternative would be an even greater impact on tenants and their ability to sustain their tenancies, leading to an increase in homelessness, tenancy turnover, and rent arrears.”

        Tenants continue to have problems using the digital-only application, with a survey finding 48 per cent of tenants struggled to make a claim

        “If we are to be able to offer the same level of support to future tenants moving onto Universal Credit, it may be necessary to increase the number of support staff.

        https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/17632619.universal-credit-claimants-in-caerphilly-council-homes-500k-in-unpaid-rent/

        ken

        May 11, 2019 at 3:21 pm

  10. All I can say is that last year my landlord sold the house I’d lived in 23 years.I work and under old system I got a top up of housing benefit and council tax support. Obviously my move would force me to claim UC and sign on as I only work 25 hours. I’m so scared of UC that at age 55 I moved into a room in a shared house which is all I can afford wit no benefit. By the time I’ve paid rent tv licence and phone I’m left with about £8 a week more than I’d get if unemployed. ..I’m guessing there’s thousands like me out there too

    katrehman

    May 8, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    • @katrehman
      It’s a disgrace that people like you would rather do without Universal Credit than claim. Iain Duncan Smith & The DWP knew full well that if they made the conditionality strict enough, a lot of people already working part-time would simply drop out of the benefit system.Rather than be dragged through the 35 Hour search,Jobcentre meetings, workfare, training and all the rest of it.

      Jeff Smith

      May 8, 2019 at 9:28 pm

      • Thanks Jeff. On a positive I’ve utilised my spare time and have just been made Learning Officer in my trade union. I intend to continue in the Union hopefully to make a difference however small…and who knows maybe do the shop stewards training too

        katrehman

        May 9, 2019 at 5:07 am

    • Kat, a tv licence in a shared house?

      enigma

      May 9, 2019 at 7:06 am

      • Yes as we all have our own rooms and our tenancy agreements are all separate if we want a tv we have to pay 4 a licence if we have tv in our rooms. It’s on the website

        katrehman

        May 9, 2019 at 8:39 am

  11. Jobcentre coaches told to help people switch careers in new plan by DWP chief

    Tory Amber Rudd will make the announcement – which remains in its very early stages – as part of a wide-ranging speech likely to be seen as a leadership pitch

    She will vow to hand Work Coaches training to help those in work – not just the unemployed, sick or disabled

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/jobcentre-coaches-told-help-people-15016327

    ken

    May 9, 2019 at 12:24 am

    • Having met several Work Coaches I think Amber Rudd is vastly over-estimating their intelligence and power to do much other than police social security, e.g., checking work search and referring people for advertised vacancies, and doling out sanctions if people don’t seem to be trying hard enough or make a slip up. And referring people to private providers who run DWP schemes of course. That’s about it. The idea that these very junior civil servants will be able to “help” many “clients” to move into well paid and rewarding new careers seems ridiculous to me since they have no real power to secure employment for anyone: all these Work Coaches do is to try to keep people’s noses to the wheel and punish them far too often.

      Ro

      May 9, 2019 at 8:12 am

  12. I’m wondering how successful the Work & Health programmes is in getting people into decent jobs. Does anybody know if there are any reports or statistics showing how well/poorly the Work & Health programme is performing? It’s been going now for well over twelve months but I haven’t heard/read anybody talking/writing about it.

    Ro

    May 9, 2019 at 8:06 am

    • it will be the same as the last work programme and the providers know it so as b4 just going for there fee from the sfa esf and any job outcome payments are a bonus.

      remember it was supposed to be mandatory after 2 years but that has also gone out the window given the new gdpr rules and regs.

      it is only mandatory once you sign there contract ie the esf 1420 form and buy law and the dwp own rules and regs you can refuse to sign it.

      superted

      May 9, 2019 at 2:03 pm

      • Universal Jobmatch,The Work Programme have all been downscaled to the The Health and Work Programme and the now equally little meaning Find A job.It has to be asked if Universal Credit is heading the same way.Those regulations deemed unlawful has shown there are serious problems’ underpinning that benefit and how politics attitudes at the time have all fallen.

        Inwork conditionality and the treat of sanctions,if someone is sanctioned in work they could find that thay cannot carry on the work that they are doing with the loss of income finding the rug being pulled from underneath them.Again losing what little someone has.A house of cards.

        ken

        May 10, 2019 at 2:23 am

    • I can answer that for me not help me, the only good thing the work and health programme has done for me send me on a course, where I have possible met my first girlfriend,.

      myfinalusername

      May 9, 2019 at 7:23 pm

  13. Building on her success with Universal Credit…

    Andrew Coates

    May 9, 2019 at 10:55 am

    • Wow! And I thought that Boris Johnson and Michael Gove were frightening potential Tory prime ministers. Surely McVey doesn’t really have a chance does she? I mean how chaotic and bad must it be for her to think she might take over from May? Holy mackerel!

      Ro

      May 9, 2019 at 11:13 am

      • At least two on this list are pretty vain, but is she vainer than Johnson?

        Andrew Coates

        May 9, 2019 at 11:28 am

      • McVey is more ruthless, crueller and colder-hearted than most Tories. If she was leader just imagine the kind of people she would surround herself with in government. I remember when she over-defended the “rape clause” the Tories added to Child Tax Credit in a way that defies understanding.

        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/17/esther-mcvey-empathy-rape-victims-tax-credits

        Icy behaviour of a woman towards other women and to children I think most normal people would agree.

        McVey’s behaviour has often appeared frighteningly borderline psychopathic throughout her career.

        Ro

        May 9, 2019 at 3:34 pm

      • That is the fag packet!

        ken

        May 11, 2019 at 2:47 pm

  14. It’s not personal but the Tories are lower than vermin – never vote Tory, it’s an insult to rats to claim that Tories are rats.

    https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201904171074210043-uk-tory-policies/

    Violet

    May 9, 2019 at 11:42 am

  15. So even in the high-tech workplace of the future you’ll have robots, and some poor devil standing between them on Universal Credit ?

    Alan turner

    May 9, 2019 at 12:01 pm

  16. As always with the DWP it depends on what you mean by ‘helping’ people.
    In their view they are constantly helping people.
    Indeed they are so helpful, they can hardly believe it themselves.

    Jeff Smith

    May 9, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    • Indeed! Many roaches even have ‘Thank You’ cards on their desks ;D Strange… but true? 😀

      Patsy K

      May 9, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    • Indeed! Many 👿 roaches 👿 even have ‘Thank You’ cards on their desks 😀 Strange… but true? 😀 👿 *cue spooky music* 👿

      Patsy K

      May 9, 2019 at 12:28 pm

      • ot

        had a brown envelope today my new work coach that has seen me 1 time has dumped me already pmsl.

        superted

        May 9, 2019 at 12:49 pm

      • @Patsy K

        I have seen similar cards on the desks of some roaches, too. It creeps me out, as well.

        jj joop

        May 10, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    • We need to tackle low pay – but we can’t do it without employers

      Around five million workers are low paid, and just one in six of those low paid a decade ago have ‘escaped’ low pay.

      work in recent years has shone a light on the nature of low paid work in the UK – it is often insecure, poor quality, stressful and unrewarding.

      for many employers, it has suited them just fine to keep labour costs low – contributing to a low price, low paid, low skilled and often low quality economy.

      https://www.employment-studies.co.uk/news/we-need-tackle-low-pay-%E2%80%93-we-can%E2%80%99t-do-it-without-employers

      ken

      May 10, 2019 at 7:22 pm

  17. Woman, 81, wrongly stripped of DWP pension had just £5 when she jumped to death
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/woman-wrongly-stripped-pension-dwp-15020141

    superted

    May 9, 2019 at 2:26 pm

  18. DWP will end benefit sanctions longer than six months
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-dwp-end-financial-sanctions-15019470

    superted

    May 9, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    • And this is an appropriate reaction:

      Andrew Coates

      May 9, 2019 at 3:09 pm

      • The late 👿 Iain Duncan Smith 👿 must be spinning in his grave 😀 😀

        Beelzebub

        May 9, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    • Back to what it was under New Labour then. It was let us not forget not the Tories but New Labour that racked up the maximum sanction on benefit claimants to half a year.

      Grand Master and Paladin Illuminatus of the Grand Encampment of Tutonic Knights Templar

      May 9, 2019 at 3:55 pm

      • And the New Deal farrago….

        “The New Deal (renamed Flexible New Deal from October 2009) was a workfare programme introduced in the United Kingdom by the first New Labour government in 1998, initially funded by a one-off £5 billion windfall tax on privatised utility companies.[1] The stated purpose was to reduce unemployment by providing training, subsidised employment and voluntary work to the unemployed. Spending on the New Deal was £1.3 billion in 2001.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Deal_(United_Kingdom)

        Andrew Coates

        May 9, 2019 at 4:39 pm

      • the only problem is that the providers only care about 1 thing and thats there money/funding. help to get in to work was all down to me according to them.

        from 1998 to 2009 i have done it all and been to every provider going and did not even get 1 interview.

        superted

        May 9, 2019 at 5:35 pm

      • After Labour lost the 2010 general election Christopher Grayling said that the Flexible New Deal scheme had cost over £31,000 per job placement, a lot of which went to dodgy private providers like a4e and Working Links. No serious training was done bar things like two day Health & Safetly courses, one day First Aid courses, and NVQ level 2 certificates in word-processing and similar: none of the training was long enough or of a high enough level to help many people into long-lasting well-paid employment.

        The Tories carried on with this nonsense with the Work Programme and now the Work & Health Programme. (No surprise there because Lord David Freud played a major role in designing all of these schemes.) The only real beneficiaries from these initiatives were private provider organisations who pocketed money from the government like there was no tomorrow.

        Chow

        May 10, 2019 at 11:44 am

  19. The Tories do not want to get rid of poverty any more than some Bible bashing Christians want to get rid of Hell. Some Christians think that Hell is a good thing because it frightens people into staying on the straight and narrow and Tories think that the fear of destitution and poverty keeps the great unwashed in line and prevents them from getting too uppity.

    Amber Ruddy Awful

    May 9, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    • People in Derbyshire are living on ‘£2 a day’ because of Universal Credit

      The system has also caused significant problems for the Trust including a “large increase” in arrears

      Derventio Housing Trust, which is based in Boyer Street, Derby, says some people have been made financially worse off on Universal Credit.

      Claimants can apply for an advanced payment to help them get by.

      And those who also receive an advance payment will have their future benefits payments reduced to pay back the advance.

      This can leave people as little as £2 a day to spend on food and daily expenditure, according to the trust.

      “Many people on benefits don’t have access to a mobile phone and don’t have ready access to the internet.

      Many of the people we work with are homeless and are being told to remember a 16-digit pin and login details for their benefits.

      “I have spoken to one gentleman who travels six miles on public transport in order to try and access his account. Other people are on as little as £2 a day”.

      “Jobcentre Plus work coaches provide tailored support to claimants, and extra digital help and budgeting support is available for anyone who needs it.”

      https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/universal-credit-branded-a-mess-2845191

      ken

      May 10, 2019 at 3:14 am

  20. Although not much yet Amber Rudd has done more to tweak Universal Credit for the good than all of her predecessors. The Treasury is refusing to cough up the money that she has asked for, so far, but when you consider that every possible replacement for Rudd would be much worse than Rudd, I am hoping for more favourable changes to welfare before the woman loses her seat and is voted out of office in the next general election.

    Djinn and Tonic

    May 9, 2019 at 6:36 pm

  21. Universal Credit: Another change that will mean people lose cash warns Glasgow MSP

    Hundreds of universal claimants every month in Glasgow risk losing out under the latest change to applying a MSP has warned.

    New rules mean that people who claim through Citizens Advice Bureaux will not have the date of their claim protected from when they first give notice of claiming.

    https://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/17627029.universal-credit-another-change-that-will-mean-people-lose-cash-warns-glasgow-msp/

    ken

    May 10, 2019 at 2:32 am

  22. What is the point exactly of funding the Citizen’s Advice Bureaux if they are not even going to provide this basic protection for the start date of a claim ?

    Harrison Goodwin

    May 10, 2019 at 10:50 am

  23. Not so long ago you had people tuning in to Benefits Street and laughing their head off.
    But the laugh in all of this is on the working class who supported it.

    Sam Davidson

    May 10, 2019 at 11:14 am

    • Talking of Benefits Street, anyone here heard anything about our old friend, White Dee. I know she made a packet noshing off the back of the series. But I half expected her to be back on benefits now, having blown the lot.

      jj joop

      May 10, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    • The Universal Basic Income mentioned is less than most people get from universal credit now when rent is included. Unless some kind of variable rent allowance and possibly council tax benefit gets lumped into any Universal Basic Income the people receiving it would be worse off, very much worse off, than they are now under either universal credit or legacy benefits.

      Ro

      May 10, 2019 at 11:54 am

      • 100% true Ro. A lot of this Universal Credit better off stuff, when you take out travel costs etc. they are not better off at all.

        Da'an

        May 10, 2019 at 2:19 pm

      • Exactly, and even more true for people on Disability benefits, which they need for obvious reasons.

        Andrew Coates

        May 11, 2019 at 10:45 am

  24. That is very true Ro.

    Violet

    May 10, 2019 at 12:04 pm

  25. Have you noticed the survey forms on some Work coaches desks ? The DWP have got some sort of ‘How Are We Doing’ customer survey running.

    Nathan

    May 10, 2019 at 2:47 pm

  26. Tower Hamlets Council uncovers 539 universal credit errors

    Claimants of 539 universal credit cases were being underpaid by up to £8,000 or overpaid by up to £25,000.

    “Universal credit is clearly not fit for purpose and it’s falling on our own benefits service to highlight and pursue errors which the DWP shouldn’t be making in the first place.”

    In Tower Hamlets the total number of households on Universal Credit as of November 2018 is 11,135. 9,748 of these are in payment.

    http://www.eastlondonlines.co.uk/2019/05/tower-hamlets-council-uncovers-539-universal-credit-errors/

    ken

    May 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

  27. https://www.cpexposed.com/latest-news/common-purpose-heart-conservative-party

    An oldie but IMHO still a goodie; check out CP’s “Graduates.”

    Irate WASPI

    May 10, 2019 at 8:15 pm

  28. All:

    UC Journal guidance, legislation, operational procedures and work coach training material

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/uc_journal_guidance_legislation#incoming-1363972

    jj joop

    May 11, 2019 at 11:35 am

  29. Overhead in the Jobcentre from Work Coach to new claimant of Universal Credit.
    ”We could have paid you the first two weeks bus fare to the job, if you had asked at the start of your Universal Credit claim.”
    Claimant, ”Can I have it now instead ?”
    Work Coach, ”No, unfortunately not.”

    Alan Turner

    May 11, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    • Why not?

      jj joop

      May 11, 2019 at 3:42 pm

      • Universal Credit ‘adviser’ told not to tell claimants about cash fund for clothes and bus fares

        An undercover reporter for Channel 4’s Dispatches programme posed as a trainee at a Department for Work and Pensions’ Universal Credit contact centre.

        https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/universal-credit-adviser-told-not-5296854

        3.1 Unreimbursed work expenses
        When you are either working or starting work, you may have some one–off costs that you have to pay. This might be for a uniform, travel, licences or equipment. If your employer is not willing to meet these costs and you pay for them with your own money, we call these costs unreimbursed work expenses.
        If you have some of these expenses when you are either working or starting work, speak to your Work Coach and you may be able to offset these expenses against your Universal Credit Payment.

        https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-work-allowances/universal-credit-work-allowances

        ken

        May 11, 2019 at 9:29 pm

      • they did use to give you £100 when you signed off and started work but if you are on jsa you can get a bus pass that pays 50% of the ticket price but limited distance wise.

        also if you attend the jcp that it is not ur signing day then they have to stump up the travel cost and same if you attend a providers office for a induction ect.

        superted

        May 11, 2019 at 9:40 pm

      • In this respect, I have had the opposite experience. The coach who was running the group signings at my JCP went out of his way to tell us about reimbursement for travel to interviews and funds for those returning to work, etc. I guess it’s all down to the individual coach.

        jj joop

        May 12, 2019 at 11:07 am

  30. Labour’s answer to violent crime: the right to economic justice

    Under a government exhibiting such denial that it even chooses to dismiss the UN’s declaration that the UK’s austerity has resulted in our national embarrassment – record food bank use, huge and growing child poverty levels and crippling financial hardship imposed on working people through universal credit – selling the idea that human beings have a right to economic justice can be a tricky concept to land.

    https://labourlist.org/2019/05/labours-answer-to-violent-crime-the-right-to-economic-justice/

    ken

    May 11, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    • Economic Justice ? I remember when Miliband forced his MPs to vote for the Welfare Reform Act 2012.
      Labour have been useless on Universal Credit from day one.

      Fred Hartley

      May 11, 2019 at 3:37 pm

  31. And so it continues:

    Andrew Coates

    May 12, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    • Properly qualified medical doctors are the only ones who can say whether a person is fit for work or not and shouldn’t be left to an inexpert assessor who is basically a clerk.

      Ro

      May 12, 2019 at 2:33 pm

      • It’s a deliberately aggressive method , designed to prevent what was seen by the DWP as the major weakness in the old system. Caring doctors, sensibly diagnosing sick and disabled people as unfit to work, as they had always done. The new system starts from the basis of forcing a target percentage of people off disability benefits and into work. Or at least into the painful ritual of looking for work.

        Jeff Smith

        May 12, 2019 at 7:58 pm

  32. Labour to pilot Universal Basic Income for everyone – rich or poor (put an end to the Tory sanctioning boot of the poorest and the mass killing of the peasants through financial and psychological torture.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/labour-pilot-universal-basic-income-15258572

    Violet

    May 12, 2019 at 5:12 pm

  33. One to watch out for…

    ‘Smartly-dressed’ fraudsters are targeting families on benefits in a new scam, the Citizens Advice has warned.
    The conmen, claiming to be from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) prey on people as they leave from job centres, with the promise of offering ‘government loans’.
    Instead, the victims are unwittingly signed up to universal credit with the scammers applying for an advanced payment which is paid to the person’s bank.
    The cheats then charge the victims for the ‘service’ which is normally half of the payment advance – at an average cost of about £400.
    The warning about the scam has been issued by staff at the Gosport branch of Citizen Advice

    Alan Turner

    May 12, 2019 at 10:47 pm

  34. I wonder whether you can get sanction for not get the job if you been for a job interview. I would not put it past the work and health programmes providers

    myfinalusername

    May 14, 2019 at 9:21 am


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