Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Council Tax Benefit (Support/Reduction) Messed up by Universal Credit.

with 78 comments

Image result for eric pickles

Eric Pickles has a Laugh at Claimants.

Pre-dating the mess of Universal Credit was the decision by Blubber Guts Eric Pickles to make all benefit claimants pay a proportion of Council Tax.

In 2013 we had, this “the benefit is being replaced by a new system, council tax support, that will be run by English local authorities but with 10% less funding.

It began like this,

 

Council tax benefit cuts: the expense of getting people with no money to pay up

2013.

Unlike the “bedroom tax“, which only affects tenants of councils and housing associations, changes to council tax benefits from April will also affect owner-occupiers and private tenants. It is currently claimed by 5.9 million recipients and is the most widely claimed means-tested benefit. Local authorities have been asked by the government to replace council tax benefit with new local schemes that reduce the amount of council tax relief councils can pay out.

 

Some have opted to protect the 100% council tax benefit that poorer residents who live in property in a low council tax band currently receive. Instead they are reducing the amount of benefit for people living in higher council tax band properties. Other councils have chosen to spread the cuts equally, opting for a maximum 90% rebate for everyone. In this case, people on the minimum income possible to survive will from April have to use their meagre income to pay 10% of their total council tax.

This was the result,

Eric Pickles and David Cameron handed local authorities the power to administer council tax benefit, then cut the budget by 10%, resulting in the number of households in council tax arrears to increase by 45%.

It soon developed: – and it is rare to find anywhere which has a 100% reduction today as the name “Council Tax Reduction (sometimes called Council Tax Support)”  indicates.

Though there is this example (July 2019):

Some low income residents in South Ribble might not have to make a minimum contribution towards their council tax bills from next year.

South Ribble Borough Council is set to launch a public consultation on a proposal to scrap the so-called council tax support scheme, which means all working-age households pay a flat rate of £3.50 per week – even if their income level entitles them to help to cover the rest of the bill.

Now we have this, proving that if there’s one thing Universal Credit is good for, it’s making things worse.

DWP: Why Universal Credit is causing ‘one big headache’ over changes to council tax

Teesside Live.

Residents are being hit with different levels of bills due to complications caused by Universal Credit

Universal Credit is increasing the burden on struggling staff at a Teesside authority and leaving residents confused, due to its effect on council tax, a meeting heard.

Stockton Council has launched a six-month review into its council tax support scheme.

It does not take much to see that this must be happening across the country.

About 11,000 people receive council tax support in the borough and everyone of working age gets at least 20% of their bills.

But Julie Auffret, the council’s revenues and benefit services manager, has revealed how Universal Credit had hit both customers and council staff in how they dealt with council tax.

She told a meeting of the council’s place select committee that the introduction of Universal Credit was leasing to confusion and stress.

She said: “What it creates for us is complications which perhaps didn’t exist when we were dealing with housing benefit and council tax benefit ourselves.

“It meant we could calculate benefits at the same time – now that has been split, it has complicated it and makes it a slightly lengthier calculation than it used to be.”

Universal Credit rolled six benefits into one and was introduced in Stockton a year ago.

But the benefits manager explained month-on-month adjustments to Universal Credit had meant the council had to keep recalculating its own council tax support.

Ms Auffret said: “For us that’s becoming quite a significant administrative burden – and for customers it’s becoming difficult for them to understand why their council tax support is being recalculated repeatedly and why they’re getting lots of bills.

“We’d really like to explore a different way of doing things to make it simpler.”

Changes were made to the council tax system in 2013 when the Government abolished council tax benefit and told local authorities to form their own support schemes.

Stockton runs a “work incentive” programme designed to offer those on low incomes a boost from their wages.

But a review is being considered given the impacts of Universal Credit.

This was all so obvious…

Plus, the fact that we have had to pay this tax, without any corresponding increase in benefits, was another part of the great reduction in our basic living standard this lot of thieves introduced.

Johnson, and his mates, have no plans to change this unjust council tax regime.

Written by Andrew Coates

July 12, 2019 at 5:07 pm

78 Responses

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  1. I live in Cornwall and have to pay 25% of my Council Tax, i.e., £29.00 per month, which is very difficult when you’re stuck on Universal Credit let me tell you. Cornwall County Council was, I believe, the first council to start charging benefit claimants Council Tax and was actually criticised by Eric Pickles for doing so. UC hasn’t gone up a penny for over three years unlike Council Tax which has risen, remorselessly, every year since I began paying it.

    Basically the Poll Tax has been reintroduced by the back door with hardly a peep and no riots like before.

    When the country is strapped for cash after Brexit who knows what else will happen to the suffering?

    Ro

    July 12, 2019 at 5:54 pm

  2. Reblogged this on Tory Britain!.

    A6er

    July 12, 2019 at 6:19 pm

  3. It is crippeling with benefit freezes.Some areas have considered 100% reduction although this all set at a local level.It was and still is a very nasty policy that no consideration was given to the consequences to the person or the affordability or cost of recovery.They basically landed people in trouble.

    100pc Tower Hamlets council tax reduction for poorest families being expanded to more households

    The means-tested scheme means they don’t pay a penny, while the amount for others is base on what is “reasonable” for them to fork out.

    Tower Hamlets is one of only nine London boroughs offering 100 per cent reduction for the poorest households.

    https://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/news/politics/council-tax-reduction-for-poor-families-widened-to-more-tower-hamlets-households-1-5866523

    ken

    July 12, 2019 at 6:20 pm

  4. First we had James Naughtie, then Victoria Derbyshire, then Laura Kuntsberg and now Nick Eardly the Scotch bloke has become victim of the Jeremy C*unt, er, sorry Hunt. Maxine McCuthcheon, on the BBC News channel just after 8 this evening didn’t even ackowledge his faux pas, just silently smirked and moved on. What is it with Jeremy C*unt, er, sorry Hunt?

    Curse of the C*unt

    July 12, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    • And the bloke on after was really funny the way he kept over-emphasisng the ‘H’ in C*unt, er, sorry Hunt.
      And its Nick Eardley apparently Another Soul taken by the Curse of the C*unt.

      Curse of the C*unt

      July 12, 2019 at 8:30 pm

      • Universal Credit was rushed together so that Duncan Smith could announce it at the Tory conference in 2010.
        As he said, ‘It’s not an easy life anymore chum.’ And his ‘chums’ were what he saw as the large numbers of benefit claimants that he set out to deal with, once and for all, with Universal Credit.
        This has always been the whole psychology behind it, and the reason for so many of the problems with the system. Like this new one with Council Tax Benefit. These things were not even considered in the Tory witch-hunt against skivers and the not-really disabled.

        Jeff Smith

        July 12, 2019 at 9:29 pm

      • Yeah this is one of those really stupid things people do.

        Colin Munt

        July 13, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    • Mum describes life on Universal Credit after husband dies from cancer

      Jennifer Spice says she can no longer afford meat and has turned into a vegetarian

      says she cannot afford to eat meat and has not bought new clothes in five years.

      Jennifer has been made redundant from her job and she says Universal Credit has made her position worse.

      “I lost my pride a long time ago to keep the family going,” she said.

      “I have got 10 O-Levels and four A-Levels, but I can’t get a job. I applied for four jobs recently and didn’t even get an interview for any of them.

      https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/mum-describes-life-universal-credit-3080603

      ken

      July 12, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    • Optimism despite rising poverty in Newcastle upon Tyne

      helping people to cope with universal credit is a priority area of work, together with debt and destitution. Rising austerity and cuts in public services have affected her work and added to the stress experienced by volunteer advisers.

      Volunteers are increasingly upset and angry that they cannot do more to help clients, especially those who are homeless, subject to benefit sanctions or living in absolute poverty.”

      https://www.thirdsector.co.uk/kevin-curley-optimism-despite-rising-poverty-newcastle-upon-tyne/local-action/article/1591213

      ken

      July 17, 2019 at 6:31 pm

  5. ‘Universal Credit has broken me’

    domestic abuse survivor speaks out about Universal Credit nightmare

    “When the financial hardship hit, my demons finally caught up with me and I had a complete breakdown. I have since been diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and depression. I told a work coach at the job centre that I had left an abusive marriage. I was offered no support or any kind of special circumstances policy.

    “I have always paid my bills, taxes, pension and cannot believe as a health care professional with 22 years service I now find myself in this position. I have never in my life been so much as a penny over my overdraft – now I am mortgaged up to the hilt, am living off a credit card and have taken out two personal loans.

    “Over everything, it is Universal Credit that has broken me. I have been treated like some kind of benefit scrounger.

    http://unitelive.org/domestic-abuse-universal-credit/

    ken

    July 12, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    • I think a lot of people are suprised how strict things are now down at the Jobcentre. Just what they will have to agree to in order to get any benefits. And all the checking up on them and supervision. You see people in my JC new claimants , and they are looking stunned at what they are expected to do for so little money.

      Gavin H.

      July 13, 2019 at 2:17 pm

  6. When you were on Jobseeker’s Allowance you were unemployed.
    But on Universal Credit you really are on the dole, in the fullest sense of the word.

    Jeff Smith

    July 13, 2019 at 1:41 pm

  7. Perhaps now is the time for a few verses of that old Labour Party favourite, Things Can Only Get Better:

    You can walk my path
    You can wear my shoes
    Learn to talk like me and be an angel too
    But maybe you ain’t never gonna feel this way
    You ain’t never gonna know me, but I know you
    I’m singing it now
    Things can only get better
    Can only get better if we see it through
    That means me and I mean you too
    So teach me now that things can only get better
    They can only get, they only get, take it on from here
    You know I know that things can only get better

    Or in Corbyn’s case Things Can Only Get Worse(r)

    Lenny H.

    July 13, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    • Yes, I’m singing it now. Things can only get better.

      T.Watson

      July 13, 2019 at 6:07 pm

  8. My Three-Year Battle with the DWP Over PIP I Just Didn’t Want to Go On’.

    Karen was scored zero points and her claim for PIP was refused.

    “It feels terrible when you hear that,” she says. “You worry a lot.”

    She went on to challenge the decision and, the following May, a tribunal decided that her money should be reinstated, albeit at a reduced rate. But, just several months later, she received a letter from the firm Capita, which carries out the assessments for disability benefits, telling her that she needed to provide more evidence to support her claim.

    https://bylinetimes.com/2019/07/11/my-three-year-battle-with-the-dwp-over-pip-i-just-didnt-want-to-go-on/

    A Tory Britain is a failed Britain.

    ken

    July 13, 2019 at 2:38 pm

  9. I saw “The Andrew Neil Interviews” the other night where Neil grilled both Johnson and Hunt. Both were unbelievably poorly informed and seemed to have little understanding about the effects of the spending pledges they were making. Boris Johnson seemed lamentably ignorant. Couldn’t believe it really. Both were dead losses with not much to choose between them and neither of them mentioned the poor or even acknowledged that they existed and were suffering. Christ alone knows how or where this horror will end but I’m pretty sure of one thing: The poor, sick, disabled, single parents, under-employed and unemployed are really in for it once Britain leaves the EU.

    Don’t like thinking about it really. After all the money is pissed up the wall on tax cuts to the rich and business what scraps will remain to support and help the needy? Brexit is going to make things very, very much worse than anything any of us have seen so far.

    Don Quixote de La Croyden

    July 13, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    • @ Don quixote,

      Well Don Quixhote this is exactly what you can expect. Two ambitious men whose main concern is which one of them is going to be PM. I don’t suppose they have given much thought to the total disaster of Universal Credit.

      Henry V.

      July 13, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    • Almost half of GPs say Brexit has increased anxiety in patients

      Over 40% of GPs have said Brexit has increased anxiety-related conditions among their patients, according to a recent survey.

      The survey, conducted by Pulse, found that out of the 810 GPs who responded, 42% said anxiety-related conditions had increased.

      A further 19% said they ‘didn’t know’ and 39% said patients had not been affected in this way.

      GPs said the increased anxiety among patients was mainly due to potential drug shortages.

      http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/political-news/almost-half-of-gps-say-brexit-has-increased-anxiety-in-patients/20039001.article

      The Tory Snatcher

      July 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm

      • Revised benefits letter still ‘misleading’ GPs about issuing fit notes

        A benefits letter sent to GPs explaining patients are fit for work is still ‘misleading’ despite having been revised by the Department for Work and Pensions, family doctors have warned.

        The DWP has revised the ESA65B letter for a second time after its initial rewording was criticised for failing to explicitly explain to GPs they might still need to issue fit notes for patients appealing a ‘fit to work’ decision.

        Charities say although this second revision is ‘a little less confusing’ it is still actively misleading and dissuades GPs from issuing fit notes – previously known as sick notes.

        http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/all-news/revised-benefits-letter-still-misleading-gps-about-issuing-fit-notes/20039024.article

        ken

        July 17, 2019 at 6:08 pm

  10. And all of it due to political decisions and right-wing ideology, as Philip Alston has said in his United Nations report. There is no real need for any of this in one of the six richest countries in the world. And no justification for it either. But if the working-class keeps voting Tory…..

    Alan Turner

    July 13, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    • RESIDENTS face “very difficult times” and are being encouraged to move into smaller homes due to the financial distress caused by changes to the benefits system in York.

      And a charity warned the roll out of Universal Credit is pushing people deeper into poverty in the city.

      It goes on to warn that the current strain on support services caused by Universal Credit is “insignificant” compared to how bad it will be once everybody who is eligible is transferred on to the controversial system.

      This report shows that Universal Credit is not working as it should, but is instead sweeping many people into deeper poverty and debt, and placing severe strain on local support services.

      https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/17772006.39-move-smaller-homes-39-avoid-york-universal-credit-distress/

      ken

      July 16, 2019 at 7:49 pm

  11. What’s happening with welfare central its disappeared.

    minnie mouse

    July 13, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    • Copy that, Earth people. We were quite enjoying chuckling at ‘comply or dies’ trials and no tribulations in ‘Windows Update 👿 HELL!! 👿 “Oh no! Not an f00u00c00k00i00t00 error!” *tears her out”, But not to work here is some bloke come along who supposedly lives in a van by down by the river to say that Windows 32 bit is “really old”, “you need to get with the times” and here some dodgy program that will fix all your woes. If you are listening down there on Earth CoD many, many thanks for all the giggles and lols. Over and out. The Moon people.

      The Moon People

      July 14, 2019 at 8:34 am

    • The last activity on Welfare Central was on Friday, 12 July 2019 00:39 (Earth Time).

      The Martians

      July 14, 2019 at 1:11 pm

      • Foodbank Demand Soared During Last School Summer Holidays
        More than 87,000 food parcels went to children during the break in 2018 – and the Trussell Trust charity expects even more to be handed out this year.

        Over a third of all emergency food parcels distributed by foodbanks in the network go to children

        he figures come against a backdrop of soaring foodbank use in UK. In 2018-19, food bank use escalated throughout the year with a 19% total increase, and it is expected this trend will continue, prompting concerns that foodbanks will be under increasing pressure to provide parcels to families in need.

        https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/foodbank-demand-rose-school-summer-holiday_uk_5d2c746ae4b0060b11efdce8?

        ken

        July 16, 2019 at 4:06 pm

  12. If the Labour party had a decent leader with some sensible people around him and some plausible costed policies Labour would be in pole position to form the next government. With the Tories at war in the ruins of what once their party, with their vote split with the Brexit Party, winning a general election should be a shoo-in for Labour and yet they’re languishing in forth place behind the Lib Dems. This is the best chance that Labour has has since losing power to be returned to office and yet not enough people are getting behind the party. As far as I can see most of the problem relates to poor old Jezza, a man far too many people feel isn’t up to the job of being prime minister, isn’t clever enough, is not trustworthy enough, is too dim and old a man to be a political leader with about as much charisma as a cold dog’s turd.

    Corbyn isn’t decisive, persuasive, bright, lively, quick on his feet and quick to act – not a leader in other words.

    Labour is circling the drain.

    When Labour loses the next general election who will save us then?

    Don Quixote de La Croyden

    July 14, 2019 at 7:54 am

    • Sad but true. And we have still got the disaster of Boris Johnson running rings round Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Questions. Johnson is good at this, the clever remark and the quick putdown. He quite fancies himself as a parliamentary debater and general smart-alec. Corbyn will never be able to handle it. And side-eyes and sulking won’t cut it. Labour will look even worse than they do now. A total disaster.

      Jeff Smith

      July 14, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    • Perhaps Labour are deliberately sabotaging their own campaign so that people will feel sorry for them and let them win next time ?

      George D.

      July 14, 2019 at 1:53 pm

  13. Propotion of sanctioned Universal Credit claimants receiving a hardship payment.

    There are probably two main contributory factors. The most important is the fact that, unlike JSA or
    ESA, UC makes hardship payments repayable, currently at the rate of 40% of benefit otherwise payable.

    The upshot is that many sanctioned claimants (probably a majority) under UC are having to live on even lower (often zero) incomes than they did under the previous sanctions regimes for JSA and ESA.

    https://suwn.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/19-05-uc-hardship-payments-d.webster.pdf

    ken

    July 14, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    • Deliberate cruelty, the repayable ‘Hardship Loan’. As if claimants who have been sanctioned are not already suffering enough.

      Jeremy Corbyn, when are you going to stop this cruelty, that affects Jews and Gentiles alike ?

      Alan Turner

      July 14, 2019 at 5:12 pm

      • A group of people standing on a subway platform — an American, a Russian, and an Israeli. A reporter approaches and says, “Excuse me, can I get your opinion about the meat shortage?”

        “What’s a shortage?” says the American.

        “What’s meat?” says the Russian.

        “What’s excuse me?” says the Israeli.

        Frank Harper

        July 15, 2019 at 6:10 pm

  14. More dire effects of this “localism”:

    Andrew Coates

    July 15, 2019 at 4:33 pm

  15. Councils struggle to sustain cash draining Universal Credit ‘subsidies’

    Fourth annual Universal Credit survey from NFA and ARCH warns already unsustainable situation could be even worse.
    Universal Credit is now draining cash and resources from cash-strapped councils and their not-for-profit housing companies to an extent that “just isn’t sustainable”, a new report reveals.

    And the fourth annual Universal Credit survey from the National Federation of ALMOs and the Association of Retained Council Housing warns the figures could be even worse.

    https://www.24housing.co.uk/news/councils-struggle-to-sustain-cash-draining-universal-credit-subsidies/

    ken

    July 15, 2019 at 5:12 pm

  16. The startling anagram of Amber Rudd is Bad Murder. It makes you wonder…

    Mystic Martin

    July 15, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    • It really is !!

      Zac Worker

      July 16, 2019 at 11:03 am

    • Rough sleepers denied access to healthcare, pushing them into ‘repeat cycles of homelessness’, study says

      Many are also wrongly turned away from GP surgeries and cannot access health services which means many minor ailments soon turn into major life-threatening problems for homeless people.

      “We really need to urgently address making access to healthcare for those without a permanent address much simpler to simply save lives, and much more improved aftercare.”

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/homeless-healthcare-rough-sleepers-uk-gp-doctor-a9005811.html

      ken

      July 16, 2019 at 10:45 pm

  17. Breaking point’ – How Universal Credit is affecting people in Sheffield

    “We are near breaking point.”

    The powers-that-be seem obsessed with flagship issues such as Brexit while the plight of ordinary people who can’t buy a tin of beans goes unnoticed.

    “As soon as UC started to roll out I was receiving complaints from constituents that they had received sanctions and they were’t getting their money, were being forced to foodbanks and pushed into debt.

    The 35-hour job search every week is just, in the vast majority of cases, completely unnecessary and force people to undertake tasks for the sake of it.

    https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-point-how-universal-credit-is-affecting-people-in-sheffield-477740

    ken

    July 15, 2019 at 11:04 pm

  18. Universal credit is a TAX not a CREDIT or a BENEFIT

    The mechanics becomes no more obvious when you use a single none disabled person with no dependents whose just become unemployed.
    Most times when a person becomes unemployed their still days or weeks away from being paid. Under UC that calculates a month at a time that person will not only have to fund themselves while waiting for the first ever payment 5 weeks on but will also have to completely fund the next 4 weeks till the second next payment purely because their wages tapered the entire benefit to zero. Its more than possible dependent of wage rate,hours of work that the person could zero out any benefit entitlement for a month with just one weeks wages let alone a full month.
    Now DWP will say you get that back when you start a new job but thats not true if your now paid a week in arrears meaning you only get 1 weeks back instead of the 4 if you dont get offered a job paying monthly. When that job ends your back to supporting yourself for a further 4 weeks purely from your wages because of what you earned.
    And while thats all going on, when your funding yourself when out of work, your still expected to submit to conditionality and thus sanctions (Failure to report your job ended within 5 days is a sanctionable offense). Not only will your benefit be reduced after 5 days till you report it (this proves DWP already know through RTI) but you will also get sanctioned anywhere between 7 to 28 days benefit as well on top.

    If that isnt bad enough, any wages disputed that are sorted out at a later time from when they should have been paid, any holiday pay, any ssp delayed payments, tax deductibles or even a tax rebate is income DWP can use to taper a persons benefits. If regardless of being paid earlier than making a claim you clear a few thousand and a bit, that also irrelevant of when paid can be used to taper your benefits.

    Trust when i say as a single person with no disability or dependents that its very possible to work 1 or 2 weeks dependent of wage rate and or hours every month and never see a nickel of welfare despite being on UC.

    Its in the press that disabled are 4 times worse off than other benefit claimants yearly. Actually a person getting JSA with lets say £100 pound housing benefit can lose twice as much as the worst disabled persons loss just for working 1 or 2 weeks paid one week in arrears every month and thats even before we have to consider travel cost to work, clothes for work, food for work

    Doug

    July 16, 2019 at 1:33 am

    • Right on Doug. There is a lot of stuff in Universal Credit that has been hidden like this. Then they have the nerve to go on about all this bollocks about being better off. When you look at the small print it is very different.

      John Taylor

      July 16, 2019 at 11:00 am

      • Horrific is an understatement if your a single person with no disabilities or dependents and working insecure hours/temporary.

        You are much im sure to the dismay of other classes of claimants the lowest denominator of all claimants who represents to DWP as nothing more than a cashcow to exploit while falsely claiming to support. UC seriously acts as a disincentive and is best remained on as little as possible if such claimants wish to be better off financially and free of unfair, unrealistic conditionality and sanctions.

        Everybody should take note of this as this is the precise path of treatment DWP and the tories want for every claimant who isnt under 16 or passed state pension age.

        Doug

        July 16, 2019 at 11:49 am

  19. Anagram of Eric Pickles : Slicker Epic

    Sam Harvill

    July 16, 2019 at 11:08 am

  20. ‘ The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.’ George Orwell – Animal Farm

    Len Markley

    July 16, 2019 at 11:11 am

  21. Vile tory’s Boris Johnson & Jeremy *unt will continue to make the poorest suffer under massive tory austerity boot with both of them refusing to scrap benefit freeze in final tory debate.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnson-jeremy-hunt-both-18297372

    Violet

    July 16, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    • Labour will eliminate “modern-day scourge” of in-work poverty

      John McDonnell will reject the idea of social mobility which lets some people “climb out of” poverty

      Labour will eliminate the “modern-day scourge” of in-work poverty by the end of the party’s first full term back in office, John McDonnell is to promise.

      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/labour-eliminate-modern-day-scourge-18326649

      ken

      July 17, 2019 at 6:30 pm

      • Labour have got to ask themselves if they actually want to be in government ? Or turn into a left-wing debating society and protest party. Because that’s the way it is going.

        Fred Hartley

        July 17, 2019 at 10:43 pm

  22. Is this a sign of desperation by a very ambitious person trying to cling onto her job, or a swan song by somebody who knows she is going to lose it?

    Andrew Coates

    July 16, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    • But does she mean it? I think probably not as she is a rotten tory.

      Violet

      July 16, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    • Rudd has already said this to Philip Hammond, current Chancellor of the Exchequer, when she took over from Esther McVey as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. He said no. Theresa May said no. Amber remained in post. While I am sure Jeremy Hunt would keep her in post – he has already said that if he became Prime Minister he would scrap the five week delay before Universal Credit claimants received their entitlements – I doubt very much that Boris Johnson would. To be honest it wouldn’t surprise me if Johnson put an arch-Brexiteer like Esther McVey back in the DWP to replace Amber Rudd; whoever it is the people that the DWP is supposed to look after will end up slowly plunged into greater and greater hardship.

      Whatever happens the poor, sick, disabled, single-parent, unemployed and under-employed are stuffed.

      Especially if the nation is convulsed economically for years and years following a no-deal exit from the EU.

      Boris Johnson, adulterer, incompetent, cheat, liar, racist and charlatan, is going to be our next PM!

      We couldn’t be more fucked.

      Jiminy "it just ain't" Cricket

      July 16, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    • It’s a bit of both I think. She’s betting both ways. If Johnson wins, which he will if his only opposition is Theresa-In-Trousers, then she might save her job if she makes the token sacrifice of a major principle. In this case her opposition to a no-deal Brexit. And don’t forget nobody really wants the DWP job all that much, it’s something of a poisoned chalice at best. Amber Rudd was second choice for Work & Pensions Secretary after Justine Greening turned it down. If Johnson still throws Amber out, and remember she supported Hunt for PM and not him, then she will be able to return to the backbenches as a martyr. A ‘Caring Conservative’.

      Jeff Smith

      July 16, 2019 at 6:28 pm

  23. DWP welfare reforms hit disabled 4 times worse as families lose ‘£1,200 a year’

    A coalition of charities says the disabled are “bearing the brunt” of Tory cuts – and it’s “simply disgraceful”

    Disabled people have lost £1,200 a year on average in benefits on the Tories’ watch, a damning study says today.

    Research says they’ve been hit four times harder than non-disabled welfare claimants under cumulative cuts in the system since 2008.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/dwp-welfare-reforms-hit-disabled-18265111

    ken

    July 16, 2019 at 3:49 pm

  24. Its probably just as well if Hunt doesn’t get the job. It would only be a matter of time before somebody said something unfortunate.

    Colin Kennett

    July 16, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    • I don’t think anyone has actually been called a Hunt in the House of Commons ?

      Percy Sledger

      July 16, 2019 at 8:38 pm

  25. The number of homeless people living in Manchester’s B&Bs has rocketed another two thirds since December

    Soaring demand for homeless services, largely due to rents everywhere in the city outstripped housing benefit, means the town hall is struggling more than ever to house people

    The number of homeless people living in Manchester’s bed and breakfasts has rocketed by two thirds since the end of last year, as rents and destitution continue to rise.

    https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/number-homeless-people-living-manchesters-16591479

    ken

    July 16, 2019 at 10:42 pm

  26. Homeless man fined for ‘begging’ gets amazing offer after public backing

    The council’s fine sparked a fierce backlash

    A homeless man who was fined £60 by Coventry City Council for ‘begging’ has been given a job and a roof over his head following a fierce backlash.

    Gary Cannop was reading a book in an alleyway off Smithford Way, where he sleeps, on Tuesday, July 9, when he was fined by a council officer.

    Thousands of people rallied behind the 55-year-old on social media after a viral post by Paul Curtis condemned the fine as “wrong on every level”.

    Many described the incident a “disgrace” and called on the council to offer accommodation and a cleaning job to Gary, who is well-known in the city and takes pride in cleaning the alleyway.

    https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/local-news/coventry-news-homeless-man-fined-16589656

    ken

    July 16, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    • “He must first be given accommodation before he is taken on”

      Is that what the council has stipulated as not having a residential address has never been a requirement inorder to qualify for a job ?

      Doug

      July 17, 2019 at 8:31 am

      • I wish him the best of luck and hope rather than a conclusion to that we instead hear more about how his life is going like hows it been working for the council, did he manage to rent a flat or room, is he feeding clothing and paying rent with the need to go hand in cap to benefits to subsidize council pay short falls.

        This could also serve as a beacon to other councils as a way forward on the homeless situation.

        Doug

        July 17, 2019 at 8:42 am

      • Andrew Coates

        July 17, 2019 at 11:02 am

      • The Bedroom Tax has already demonstrated that downsizing to a “smaller home” is very hard to do in practice because there aren’t enough affordable “smaller homes” to meet the demand for such accommodation. There really and truly are not enough cheap one-bedroom flats and houses available to house everybody keen to downsize. At least the little prick didn’t suggest that under-occupiers ought to “take in a lodger” in order to make ends meet, which my MP did when a distressed widow asked her how she could avoid homelessness after suffering the Bedroom Tax because she had a small box-room designated as a spare bedroom.

        This is what Tories always do: blame victims (poor people) for their own crimes (gutting social security).

        Unless benefits get uprated with inflation they progressively lose spending power, and, if the freeze goes on long enough, nobody will be able to afford their rent and everybody will be forced to downsize to a tent!

        Ro

        July 17, 2019 at 12:37 pm

  27. Outrageous! Look what happened at the disabled protests when the disabled when whacked over the head with truncheon, tipped from their wheelchairs and man-handled into police vans. And what with the poor guy who was left brain-damaged after being hit over the head with a police truncheon. What about the “kettling”? Why are these Extinction Rebellion clowns being allowed to get away with clearly criminal behaviour? In a country where you can be jailed for years for posting a politically incorrect comment on social media!

    Try getting into Bristol this morning. It is too bad if you are in the back of an ambulance rushing to hospital. But suppose the life of the planet is more important than any human beings.

    Doris from Bristol

    July 17, 2019 at 11:05 am

  28. Data Protection and Consent (in relation to the DWP)

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/data_protection_and_consent#incoming-1398246

    Some very interesting information!

    jj joop

    July 17, 2019 at 11:31 am

    • dont sign anything 😉

      superted

      July 17, 2019 at 1:41 pm

  29. They talk about paying Housing Benefit direct to the landlord as if that solves the whole problem. It doesn’t because HB now only covers about 70% of the average rent. The claimant has to find the rest from their JSA or Universal Credit. Once the Tories cut Housing Benefit to the level of the lowest 30% of rents, people were stuffed. So even if the claimant on JSA / Universal Credit manages to make alternative payment arragements, every week there is going to be a shortfall in the rent. Because Housing Benefit, or the Housing Element of Universal Credit, just doesn’t pay enough.

    Alan Turner

    July 17, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    • Exactly.

      And this is getting worse all the time.

      Andrew Coates

      July 17, 2019 at 4:11 pm

      • And will continue to get worse under Prime Minister BoJo.

        Marty

        July 18, 2019 at 7:48 am

  30. London’s poorest households hardest hit by tax and welfare changes

    New research reveals London’s poorest households will be hardest hit by tax and welfare changes

    City Hall analysis shows Government’s tax and welfare changes will put 100,000 more Londoners, including 75,000 children, into poverty
    Single parents and disabled Londoners will be hardest hit
    Sadiq warns Government must reverse the effects of the benefit freeze and review welfare changes
    Mayor launches pilot project to support low income families

    One hundred thousand more Londoners, including 75,000 children, will be forced to live in poverty as a result of the Government’s damaging welfare changes, according to new research published by the Mayor Sadiq Khan.

    https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/londons-poorest-households-hit-by-welfare-changes

    ken

    July 17, 2019 at 6:29 pm

  31. You make a very good point there Alan.
    It’s no good the DWP going on about paying the landlord as if that solves all the money problems.
    They have slashed Housing Benefit so much that people are paying £20 – £25+ out of their JSA / UC each week towards the rent.
    So there would still have to be a second payment made each month, of £100+ or more to the landlord by the benefit claimant. In order to make up the difference.
    For many years Housing Benefit always paid the rent up to a reasonable maximum.
    So in most cases, houses, flats etc. it paid the full rent. All the rent.
    But the Tories stopped doing this on purpose.
    They cut the Housing Benefit right down to the bone.
    In order to make things that bit more difficult for benefit claimants.
    Using this extra hardship to motivate them.
    To give up their claim and get a job.
    Or suffer for being unemployed.

    John Taylor

    July 17, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    • Too right Jon . All these changes and cutbacks are just to get people off the benefits and make then think twice about staying on them. So even a crap job looks good in comparison to being on benefits.

      Andy M.

      July 18, 2019 at 8:15 am

  32. Universal Credit has the cruelty designed in from the start. That’s why it is going to be so difficult to change.

    Tom Sutton

    July 18, 2019 at 8:18 am

  33. Labour’s shadow Brexit ­minister, Dianne Hayter, has been sacked after she likened the “bunker mentality” around Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership to the “last days of Hitler”.
    And we all know how that went…

    John Taylor

    July 18, 2019 at 10:07 am

  34. People are being forced into work. That’s the bottom line in all this.

    Sam

    July 18, 2019 at 10:10 am

    • Into jobs that don’t exist, so more end up doing 4 hours and claiming benefits.

      JC

      July 18, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    • People are being forced into work but remain in poverty afterwards and still on universal credit.

      Lemmy

      July 18, 2019 at 5:16 pm


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