Ipswich Unemployed Action.

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New Resolution Foundation Report Blasts Universal Credit.

with 81 comments

 

Image result for universal credit resolution foundation long and winding road

New Reports Slams  Universal Credit.

 

The long and winding road

The introduction and impact of Universal Credit in Liverpool City Region and the UK

Key findings

  • UC is a bigger deal in some parts of the country than others. 205,000 working-age families in LCR (31 per cent of the total) are expected to receive UC once it is fully rolled out, compared to 775,000 working-age families in the whole of the North West (27 per cent), and 6.2 million families in the UK as a whole (24 per cent of the total).
  • Focusing on UC’s effect on incomes compared to the legacy benefits system it replaces, we find that more families lose from the switch to UC – and fewer gain – in LCR than the UK as a whole. 52 per cent of benefit-recipient families in LCR lose out from the switch to UC, while only 32 per cent gain. The respective figures for the UK as a whole are 46 per cent and 39 per cent.
  • While those with IT skills valued UC’s digital focus, many said that the five-week wait for the first payment put them under significant financial and mental stress. Some reported that the wait had forced them to use food banks, and worsened existing mental health issues.
  • The interviews revealed a variable understanding among recipients of exactly how taking on more work would affect their incomes. Most understood they would be better off in work, but many felt that the system’s responsiveness to their earnings meant that taking on more hours wasn’t worth their while financially. This, says the Foundation, risks weakening one of the central claims of UC, that it will ‘make work pay’.

The  PCS union has responded.

The report entitled the Long and Winding Road explored regional differences in the roll-out of Universal Credit which has been plagued by problems.

2.7 million people are thought to be on Universal Credit and due to the complex system, depending on where claimants live, people are worse off in some areas than others.

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said: “Universal Credit has made life miserable for some of the most vulnerable members of our society.”

He called on ministers to heed warnings, adding that they need to, “implement reforms to make our welfare system more humane.”

But PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said the system needed to be scrapped and replaced.

He said: “Universal Credit is a disaster for claimants and needs to be scrapped in favour of a more humane system.

“At the moment claimants face immense hardships and barriers accessing UC, causing them to fall into debt homeless and in some cases, even contemplate taking their own lives.

“Our members are passionate about helping those in need and do their utmost under the circumstances. However, they cannot make a system work that is fundamentally hurting those it is supposed to help.”

More media coverage.

24 Housing.  Bill Tanner

Report says varying Universal Credit impact UK-wide is being ignored

The very different impact of Universal Credit (UC) across the country is being ignored amid debates about how to level up economic outcomes UK wide, a new report warns.

Already, a metro mayor says its time the government listened to such “frontline warnings” and implement improvements to make UC more humane

Released by the Resolution Foundation, The long and winding road notes that the new parliament will be a critical period for  the UC roll-out, with two-thirds per of the six million families who will eventually be on UC moving across during this session.

The final – and most challenging – phase of the roll-out, involving the transfer of existing benefit and tax credit claimants onto UC, is also due to start later this year.

The Foundation notes that following welcome reforms, including the recent £1,000 boost to work allowances, the benefit is set to be slightly more generous than the legacy system it is replacing (as long as take-up gains are achieved), with families receiving £1 a week more an average.

However, this marginal average figure masks sizable groups of families that gain and lose out by large sums, and significant geographical variation across the UK.

Thanks to factors such as local rent and earnings levels, and the characteristics of local populations, some parts of the country will be left significantly worse off as the switch to UC goes ahead.

Laura Gardiner, Research Director, Resolution Foundation, said those recent reforms hid a complex mix of winners and losers, with families in some areas of the UK faring particularly badly.

“As well as making reforms at a national level – such as helping families to overcome the first payment hurdle and offering more flexibility for those with childcare – policy makers across the country need to better understand the effect Universal Credit will have in different places.

“That understanding should be central to policy debates that are rightly focusing on what can be done to close economic gaps between parts of the UK,” she said.

The report references the Liverpool City Region (LCR) – one of the areas that has experienced the biggest UC roll-out so far, and in which a higher proportion of working-age families will end up on UC than across the country 31% compared to 24% – where just 32% of families will be better off under UC, compared to 52% who will be worse off.

This compares to a national average of 46% losing out, and 39% gaining.

The article continues,

The report identifies the difference as largely driven by LCR having a relatively high proportion of single parents, out-of-work single people and disabled people, all of whom fare badly under UC.

In addition, UC’s greater generosity towards working families with high rents has less impact in LCR, which has below-average rent levels.

To help understand the localised impact of the transition to UC, the Foundation carried out in-depth interviews in LCR, focusing on recipients’ experiences of various aspects of the new system. These interviews uncovered a number of areas where further improvements are needed.

While those with IT skills valued UC’s digital focus, many said that the five-week wait for the first payment put them under significant financial and mental stress. Some reported that the wait had forced them to use food banks, and worsened existing mental health issues.

Other reported problems with the childcare element of UC – despite it being more generous than tax credits – with one single parent explaining how paying childcare costs up front was hard, and that reimbursements could be withheld if they forgot to obtain receipts on time.

The interviews revealed a variable understanding among recipients of exactly how taking on more work would affect their incomes.

Most understood they would be better off in work, but many felt that the system’s responsiveness to their earnings meant that taking on more hours wasn’t worth their while financially.

This, says the Foundation, risks weakening one of the central claims of UC, that it will ‘make work pay’.

Steve Rotheram, LCR Metro Mayor, said it was time the government listened to “frontline warnings” and implement serious reforms to make UC more humane.

“Rather than penalising people for finding work and forcing them into crisis with the five week wait for a first payment, it should be reformed to offer a genuine safety net to struggling people,” he said.

The Foundation says that now is the time for the government to make vital improvements.

These improvements, stressed as needing to top be national, should include:

  • Helping families overcome the first payment hurdle – the government should increase the proportion of new claims paid on time and in full; help families overcome the first payment hurdle by testing approaches like an interim payment for certain groups and backdating the start of claims; and carry the financial risk from late payments.
  • Ensuring UC fits better with the lives of those who need it – in particular, reforms are needed to make the generous childcare support in UC more flexible and easier to navigate.
  • Making UC more female-friendly – boosting work allowances for single parents and second-earners would boost their work incentives and increase household incomes.

The Foundation adds that policy makers in Whitehall, and, crucially, across the UK, need to consider the impact of UC at a local level.

At exactly the time that policy debates are rightly focusing on what can be done to close economic gaps between parts of the UK, the reform will be rolled out with very different impacts on those places, the Foundation says.

S, 

Data shows areas with high numbers of unemployed and disabled will be worse off, says thinktank.

Therese Coffey is still on a high…

This is an example of Universal Credit “works”.

81 Responses

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  1. It’s a disastrous shambolic mess that has caused great hardship, misery and suffering, has cost a fortune to develop and partially implement, and there is absolutely no way in hell IDS deserves a Knighthood. Jail, yes, but not a Knighthood.

    trev

    January 22, 2020 at 5:18 pm

  2. Even a black hearted bastard like Iain Duncan Smith resigned in protest over what George Osborne did to Universal Credit. The UC system is awful, truly diabolical, and eventually even the Conservatives will have to buckle and do something to improve it. How could the Conservatives possibly go to the next general election if food bank usage doesn’t start falling over the next parliament but continues to grow exponentially, from 2010 to 2024, never peaking, never plateauing, never falling but only ever rising hand over fist for the previous FOURTEEN YEARS solid?

    Something’s got to give.

    Pygmalion

    January 22, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    • Personally, I think UC will collapse or be forced to evolve into some form of Basic Income, and Brexit could prove to be the catalyst. A massive influx of workers into the Benefits system or into the job market (with fewer jobs available)) will render UC completely unworkable, and it’s halfway there already and only partially implemented, and foodbanks are already stretched to the max. There’s an air of inevitability about it. Sooner or later something has to give.

      trev

      January 22, 2020 at 6:18 pm

      • @trev – Maybe so, we can only hope. The whole thing is symbolic of the sheer cruelty of Tory austerity policies over the last decade. They tried to conceal the real nature of Universal Credit from the very start. But in reality Duncan Smith & Co. have always known what it was. A system of punishment and discipline to control benefit claimants. And to force them into zero-hours work.

        Jeff Smith

        January 22, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    • Duncan-Doughnuts didn’t resign in protest over excessive benefit cuts. The real reason was that he was angry that Osborne made it clear that they were supposed to be saving money (or at least appearing to) and that therefore he was no longer prepared to fund Doughnuts’ ‘back to work’ vanity projects. Osborne scrapped the Work Programme, Mandatory Work Activity and the Community Work Placements so baldy threw a strop and resigned.

      KJ

      January 25, 2020 at 2:41 am

  3. Reblogged this on sdbast.

    sdbast

    January 22, 2020 at 6:10 pm

  4. Universal Credit is genocide to the Tory Party. One The UK Bill of Rights is done in Brexit the UK will have its own Humans Rights Laws. Then the rest of UC will be rolled out. Universal Credit is £50 billion over budget & £10 billion in Lawyers fees covering up UC & DWP deaths. At what cost is UC going to cost bankrupting the country to prove a point of order. The Tories still can’t get out of the ATOS contract running the Civil Services IT Computer system. The copywrite for the data is owned by ATOS which are French. Still the UK can’t get away from Europe with UC data.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 22, 2020 at 7:23 pm

  5. ATOS runs the British Government – France runs the UK Government data & owns the Copywrite.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 22, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    • @stepping razor sound system , Stepping are you an android ?

      Graham N.

      January 22, 2020 at 11:38 pm

  6. No toilets in Job centres is a Human Rights Violation yet alone disabled toilets. Lets all piss over the job centre carpet & the Tories Human Rights Violations.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 22, 2020 at 7:26 pm

  7. Reblogged this on Tory Britain!.

    A6er

    January 22, 2020 at 8:42 pm

  8. Universal Credit is not about making work pay, it’s about making you work .

    Susan Harvey

    January 22, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    • Universal Credit is about exploiting the poor by forcing them to work in part-time and zero-hour contract jobs with long expensive commutes and pretending all the while that once in such work people will “progress” to better paid employment until they are well-paid enough to leave Universal Credit completely. WHICH IS A LIE! In a DWP pilot of “In-work Progression” the group which had full support from the Jobcentre, after twelve months, was only £5.25 PER WEEK better off than the control group which has next to no support from Work Coaches and programmes. The Taylor report showed that people in poorly paid temporary, insecure or part-time work did not progress generally with most remaining stuck in such work permanently.

      Universal Credit is based on a fantasy.

      It’s time to wake up from the nightmare of UC and face up to reality.

      Lori

      January 23, 2020 at 7:42 am

      • £5.25 a WEEK is a whooping £273 a YEAR. You could have a night out on the town with that or treat yourself to a new flat-screen TV. And over a 40 YEAR working lifetime you would have coined £10,920. Just think what you could do with that 🙂

        E McVey

        January 23, 2020 at 10:47 am

      • @Lori – that is very true. It’s the essence of Universal Credit. But to the right-wing Tories who thought it up, it is still better than having people skiving, as they saw it, on long-term benefits.

        Jeff Smith

        January 23, 2020 at 12:48 pm

      • £5.25 A week better off ! It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. But the Labour Party bear a heavy responsibility for allowing all this through. When Miliband ordered his MP’s to vote for the 2012 Welfare Reform Act. Then they just looked the other way for all the long years it took to roll it out nationally.

        John Lassiter

        January 23, 2020 at 12:57 pm

      • Universal Credit is designed to create a pool of compliant cheap labour, with minimal rights, which can be used by employers as a disposable workforce. Work is a way out of poverty when the work in question pays the worker enough to enable people to support themselves: Universal Credit pushes people into work that doesn’t pay enough to enable people to support themselves or the means to secure such work. UC is all about “getting something out of claimants” by exploiting their circumstances, even though the claimants themselves remain in grinding poverty and garner no substantive benefit from the poor quality work they do.

        There is generally NO progression for the majority of people on UC. UC perpetuates poverty rather than reducing it by trapping people in worthless jobs while insisting all the while that they commute to and from work as if in full-time jobs The idea that large number of people on UC will “progress” into better quality work with the help of Work Coaches and goad of conditionality is as daftly comic as the character in HMS Pinafore who started as a humble office boy who polished up the handle of the big front door and worked his way up the slippery pole to end the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee is bullsh1t.

        All this is provable statistically and I despair that the media haven’t cottoned on yet and taken the Tories to task. Now that Brexit is happening my hope is that the media, journalists and broadcaster will take up this issue and club the uncaring and complacent government over the head with it until it squeals.

        Lori

        January 23, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      • @Lori, You are so right Lori, OMG it’s an awful system.

        Keisha

        January 23, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    • What about people who suffer from Ergophobia ? Should they be forced into work too ?

      Peter Renwell

      January 23, 2020 at 1:01 pm

      • Just remember what this is really about. A government that is systematically forcing its own citizens into employment.

        Jack Carter

        January 23, 2020 at 2:38 pm

      • People with bipolar & suicide risk are forced into work There are now 200,000 more bipolar people in work & which we are very happy about 150,000 suicide risk people in work.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 23, 2020 at 4:43 pm

      • @jack carter: That is absolutely disgraceful ! What if they really don’t what to work, what then ?
        You can’t just make people do it if they don’t want to.

        Jason Lightley

        January 23, 2020 at 5:06 pm

      • Universal Credit was never supposed to “force people into work” but to “lift people out of poverty”. That was how Iain Duncan Smith sold the half-baked to David “Big Society” Cameron and the reason why the Liberal Democrats supported it in the House of Commons and the House of Lords and enabled it to be put on the statute book without much resistance. However, due to the stupidity and incompetence of the people in charge of UC’s implementation, poor design and cuts made later to its budget, to date, as is, Universal Credit drives far vast numbers of claimants who end up on it into severe debt, rent arrears and poverty from the get go. As is Universal Credit does the diametric opposite to what its designers and architects claimed as its purpose, which was to redeem the poor not to increase the burdens, difficulties and poverty of the neediest and hardest pressed citizens in society.

        This absolutely will cause a scandal over the next few years as UC replaces legacy benefits completely.

        Lori

        January 24, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    • So true Lori, it’s all about making people leave their benefit claims. Anyone can see that.

      Melanie

      January 23, 2020 at 1:22 pm

      • That isn’t what I wrote. Universal Credit, which was supported by the Liberal Democrats when in coalition with the Conservatives because it was supposed to bring an end to poverty, is actually in practice inculcating poverty rather than mitigating it. In reality Universal Credit as implemented is forcing people into low or ultra low paid work which doesn’t help them improve their live at all, with no progression to more work or better paid work, not only leaving them struggling in poverty, although working, but driving them into debt and rent arrears by design. Universal Credit has to be the most perverse benefit system on earth as well as one of the most cruel.

        I remember Iain Duncan Smith claiming that the Universal Credit system would be much copied by a number of other countries. Obviously the number he had in mind was zero because, so far, not one single other nation has implemented anything as unworkable and unpleasant as Universal Credit anywhere on earth.

        Lori

        January 23, 2020 at 5:02 pm

      • @Melanie – You are quite right there. Universal Credit had only one basic aim. Get people off benefits, and make it harder for them to use unemployment benefits as an alternative to working. It was never meant to ‘relieve poverty’ and other such nonsense. This was just part of the spin, as the Tories set out to transform a welfare system that they thought was far too generous to claimants.

        John Kendall

        January 24, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      • Universal Credit WAS designed to reduce poverty:

        https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/economics-and-finance/universal-credit-was-designed-to-reduce-poverty-it-will-do-the-opposite

        The problem is that it was “designed” by the Centre for Social Justice, Iain Duncan Smith’s very own think tank, Iain Duncan Smith himself, thick as two short planks, and David Cameron’s so-called “welfare expert” Lord David Freud, sometime journalist come merchant banker, with a track record of failure behind him, no knowledge relating to poverty or social security and who probably had never met a poor person or benefit claimant in his life.

        Universal Credit was based on a fantasy about the poor, all of the poor, working their way out of poverty by getting a job, any kind of job, which would put them on the lowest step of an escalator which would carry them up and onward to “progress” to more work, better work, and so to higher incomes until the poor, all of the poor, were self-supporting financially, no longer needed to rely on top-ups from the state, and would vote Conservative in all and every future local and general election. Trouble is, in practice, because in there is little or no fabled “progression” for a majority of UC recipients, despite the sanctions regime and overweening conditionality, the new system actually makes life worse, sometimes fatally worse, for armies of people who receive it.

        The fact that the government looks on standing aloof and complacent as this disastrous social policy failure continues growing like a malignant tumour is extraordinary, praising the cancerous new system as if polishing such a pile of fetid manure with Tory bullsh1t could turn it, Midas-like, into something pure, golden and shiny.

        Boris and his minions won’t be able to get away with this one, especially if Labour gets a decent leader.

        Lori

        January 24, 2020 at 5:44 pm

      • We debunked the myth of progression up the pay scale in our documentary ‘What Britain’s Worth’ screened on BBC Television. The evidence clearly demonstrates that whatever pay scale you enter the labour market on you get stuck there. The only possible movement is downwards. There is absolutely no upwards progression for workers on the lowest pay scales.

        Dan & Peter Snow

        January 24, 2020 at 6:20 pm

      • Correction: The programme was called ‘What Britain Earns’. Many apologies.

        Dan & Peter Snow

        January 24, 2020 at 6:24 pm

      • What Britain Earns

        “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.” I think we all know the answer to that question 😉

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

        Dan & Peter Snow

        January 24, 2020 at 6:27 pm

      • @Lori – Universal Credit was designed to reduce unemployment, and cut benefit costs. You are confusing Tory spin with reality. They have falsely claimed that UC reduces poverty when every study has shown that it does not. It increases hardship for claimants. The nonsense spouted by IDS as justification for the UC roll-out, was just so much hot air, to distract from the fact that The Tories were going to make such major cuts to the benefit system. They had to try and sell this somehow, so they set off with the propaganda of people being somehow ‘better off’. What else could you expect from politicians with an agenda to dismantle the welfare state, and make it far less attractive to claimants ?

        Jeff Smith

        January 24, 2020 at 8:56 pm

      • @ Jeff Smith

        Whatever the real reasoning behind Universal Credit was what you write about it IS true now. And with an ass like Boris Johnson, armed with an unassailable majority, as Prime Minister for up to FIVE YEARS who knows what the future holds. Men and women like him won’t care, or pretend to care, unless they have to and I still believe that the British people still have the compassion, decency and conscience to force the Tories to change the direction of UC when they see just how much harm it is doing, most especially to babies, infants and children. I cannot find it in myself to believe that the British are no better than Boris Johnson and recent Tory governments and I look forward to better days when they are held to account and have to bend the knee to the will of the British people.

        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/23/boris-johnson-poverty-voters-pmqs-child-poverty-benefits

        Lori

        January 25, 2020 at 9:03 am

  9. ‘ Overall, benefit-recipient families across the UK are on average £1 better off per week as a result of the switch to UC compared to the legacy benefits system.’
    The Long and Winding Road, Executive Summary , page 8.

    So that’s the reality, the golden future on Universal Credit ? £1 better off per week ?

    Alan Turner

    January 23, 2020 at 1:20 pm

  10. Universal credit ‘sending people into arms of loan sharks’

    Debt charity says Tories’ flagship welfare project forcing claimants into destitution

    Guardian – 23rd Jan 2020

    niversal credit fuels debt problems for low-income claimants, forcing many into destitution and driving others to loan sharks to get cash for basics such as food, clothes and heating, a leading charity has claimed.

    StepChange, the UK’s largest debt charity, said problems relating to universal credit’s design – in particular the five-week wait for a first benefit payment – made it harder for its financially vulnerable clients to manage their money.

    It called for significant changes to the design of universal credit to make it fairer, more flexible and generous for the very poorest claimants, nearly half of whom had taken out loans to pay for basic living essentials over the past year.

    A quarter of its clients in receipt of universal credit were in problem debt, three times the rate found in the population as a whole and almost twice the rate of claimants on older, “legacy” benefits, it said.

    The majority of its clients struggled to make ends meet each month – only 6% said they always came in on budget, and 46% said they always ended the month in the red. More than a third had used food banks or sought help from local charities or churches.

    “We already knew that too many people are experiencing hardship and misery through problems with the universal credit system. What is new is the evidence of exactly how universal credit actively worsens debt problems, more so than the legacy benefits system,” said StepChange’s head of policy, Peter Tutton.

    Read More on The Guardian
    [Link won’t post]

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 23, 2020 at 4:49 pm

  11. Unfortunately New Resolution Foundation are not the government. If Universal Credit keeps cutting unemployment the way it is doing. Or at least seems to be doing, in terms of the official unemployment count, then the Tories have no reason to make any great changes to it.

    Tom Sutton

    January 23, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    • Wait until UC becomes a major issue and the tabloids, broadsheets, radio and television broadcasters begin to attack it left, right and centre, scurrilously. UC already has zero support, even from papers like the Mail and Sun, which latter rag has already run a campaign AGAINST it. This is bound to happen eventually as the number of individuals, particularly families with children, experience UC negatively when millions still on legacy benefits get transferred to the new UC system.

      Lori

      January 24, 2020 at 5:50 pm

  12. If driver-ed vehicles were banned tomorrow the existing road network could be re-purposed for driver-less vehicles. It would certainly speed up the deployment of new technology. Driver;less vehicles would only have to interact with each other. Mixing driver-ed and non-drivered is not a good idea since money and resources are being wasted developing algorithms for driver-less vehicles to integrate with driver-ed ones.
    It is a pointless transition phase that is only going to see out the end of driver-ed vehicles. The roads should be cleared of driver-ed vehicles right. now.

    TT Tesla

    January 23, 2020 at 8:49 pm

  13. Andrew Coates

    January 24, 2020 at 11:01 am

    • Horrific that people should have to do this. The way the DWP are going, people will soon have to prove they are actually dead.

      Jeff Smith

      January 24, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    • Who the fcuk is going to give a job to a dying man or woman? To make the terminally ill jump through hoops to get benefits until they are 6 months away from death is cruel. Cruel as the Rape Clause. Atrocious.

      Kindred

      January 25, 2020 at 4:25 pm

      • There is no such thing as a ‘rape clause’. You are referring to one of the exemptions to the two-child tax credit limit. Using emotive and disingenuous language just make you look stupid and doesn’t get you anywhere either.

        Mary Beale

        January 25, 2020 at 5:02 pm

      • There is no “Bedroom Tax” and was no “Poll Tax” either according to the Tories who insist on the terms “Spare Room Subsidy” and “Community Charge” as nomenclature, respectively, for the same things whereas the public never have and don’t to this day. Same with the “Rape Clause” which is the de rigueur term for intrusive legislation preventing mothers from claiming Child Tax Credit for more than two children unless the child being claimed for can be proven to have been conceived by an act rape. Most people in the UK think that this is atrocious and disgustingly nasty and the fact that you don’t says a lot about you. I’m not going to insult you or express disapproval because you being you is punishment enough as far as I am concerned.

        Hand on heart I pity you.

        Kindred

        January 25, 2020 at 7:08 pm

  14. Be a bit more to the point if the DWP had to prove they were not idiots.

    Peter Renwell

    January 24, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    • @peter renwell, On current performance, the DWP would have some problems proving that !

      Dave T.

      January 24, 2020 at 9:00 pm

  15. Even Boris Johnson and his cronies have their limits, e.g., the four year benefit freeze ends next April and was not renewed. No doubt this p1ssed off poverty denying reptiles like Priti Patel and Dominic Raab no end, or, at least I hope that it did.

    Double D

    January 25, 2020 at 10:23 am

  16. Instead of messing around with nomenclature if you don’t agree with the child tax credit limit just say so. Just say that you would like child tax credits to be paid for an unlimited amount of children. Child tax credits are from £3,000 to £5,000 a year so it is not pocket change we are taking about. Bet you are on the dole and don’t give a flying sausage since it is not you that is paying.. The problem though is that if you cripple the welfare state the government will start looking for savings elsewhere like in your unemployment benefits. Like freeze them or something. The limit to child tax credits was intended to put a brake on selfish human behaviour, the type of thinking that that leads feckless people to believe that they have a God-given right to have as many children as they choose at someone else’s expense. Anyway, the planet is full. Our cities are chocked. We live in smog of pollution. Two children is enough for any family unless you are some religious maniac or something. The limit to the tax credit limit argument has been won. Some politicians will pretend that they think that is is “atrocious”, “disgusting”… but we all know what they would do if they were in office. Like many things secretly, in private they think it is a good idea. Like the ‘bedroom tax’ the two-child tax credit limit isn’t going anywhere.

    Rosie Bland

    January 25, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    • There but for my humanity and compassionate heart go I. Go in peace, Rosie, Mary, all of your kind. I am genuinely sorry for all of you and so very grateful not to be like you. I wish you better days.

      Kindred

      January 26, 2020 at 3:59 pm

      • Enough of humanity and compassion crap. Just answer the questions. Simple yes or no. Do you think that
        child tax credit should be unlimited? As we face a global climate change catastrophe do you think it right that we should encourage unfettered breeding? How long do you think the UK welfare state/infrastructure could support support a couple having say ten kids and those ten kids having say ten kids? Multiple wives/partners too. Some people just don’t give a damn. Resources quickly run out. And you will get crushed in the stampede/ You have to find new, cheap and innovative ways to feed a burgeoning population*. genetically modified food, frankenwheat, insects etc. You will get to a point that the infrastructure/welfare state/NHS will implode. You will be left with no welfare stare or NHS. You have to think and plan ahead not just short term.. Have some compassion and humanity for those who will be around in the future.

        *the UK population is over 70 million and growing at a rate of knots

        Flora

        January 26, 2020 at 4:24 pm

      • 1.Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.

        2.Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.

        3.Unite humanity with a living new language.

        4.Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.

        5.Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.

        6.Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.

        7.Avoid petty laws and useless officials.

        8.Balance personal rights with social duties.

        9.Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.

        10.Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones

        trev

        January 26, 2020 at 5:54 pm

      • Sweden and its Welfare State in Crisis

        by Nima Gholam Ali Pour

        Within a generation, Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, will have a population in which the majority of people are of foreign background. How will integrating immigrants take place then, and which group will be integrated into which?

        At the same time, many children born in Sweden learn Swedish so poorly that they cannot really speak it, because there is not enough Swedish spoken in some preschools and grade schools. This change is unfolding at a rapid pace.

        It is not just Swedish society that will look radically different within a decade. The Swedish welfare state, which has been the hallmark of the Swedish state around the world, is also changing or possibly even being phased out.

        The Swedish welfare state has often been praised by the left in the United States. After the migration crisis of 2015, however, when Sweden was flooded by Syrian refugee claimants, Sweden is now facing a welfare crisis that threatens the entire Swedish welfare state model.

        Sweden had 9.7 million inhabitants in 2015, before it received 162,000 asylum seekers. 70% of those asylum seekers came from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. 70% of those asylum seekers were also men. The migration crisis created an unsustainable financial and social situation that caused the Swedish political establishment to rethink its stance on asylum migration, which, until then, had been extremely liberal.

        Asylum migration has continued, nevertheless. Between 2016 and 2018, more than 70,000 additional migrants have applied for asylum in Sweden, and more than 105,000 asylum migrants have been granted asylum.

        There is a demographic impact from migration that affects Sweden’s national and cultural identity, as well as the crushing economic impact on Sweden’s welfare state.

        The demographic impact can be seen in cities such as Sweden’s third-largest city, Malmö, where people of foreign background (foreign-born or both parents born abroad) have increased from 31.9% of the population in 2002, to 45.9% of the population in 2018. There are already three Swedish municipalities where the majority of the population has a foreign background: Botkyrka, Södertälje and Haparanda. The question then becomes how to integrate foreigners if the majority of the people in a city are of a foreign background. 51% of the elementary school students in Malmö are either foreign born or both of whose parents are foreign born. Within a generation, Sweden’s third-largest city will have a population in which the majority of people are of foreign background. How will integrating immigrants take place then, and which group will be integrated into which?

        Integrating migrants into Swedish society has been a failure, a situation that both experts and politicians agree on. In March 2018, 58% of registered unemployed persons were born outside Sweden, even though the group’s share of the population is only 23%. In 2018, the unemployment rate for foreign-born Swedes was 15.4%, while unemployment for Swedes born in Sweden was 3.8%.

        The EBO Law (Lagen om eget boende – “Independent Living Act”) permits asylum seekers to settle anywhere in the country. Migrants often settle in areas where other migrants already have settled, partly because of the low housing prices in those areas and partly because it is easier for migrants to network there. This process both reinforces segregation and creates migrant enclaves in Sweden.

        A large influx of migrants combined with a failed integration policy has created cultural consequences in which Swedish culture is both undergoing rapid change and having its identity challenged. In many areas where migrants are in the majority, there is no way to maintain Swedish culture because the population has a culture distinctly different from Sweden’s culture. This results, among other things, in changes in the language and in which holidays are publicly observed.

        Several established Swedish media outlets published articles in June glorifying Eid-al-fitr, the holiday that ends the Is**lamic fasting month of Ramadan. Well-known companies in Sweden, such as Arla Foods, ICA and COOP, published recipes on their websites for the holiday. Several voices have already suggested that Eid-al-fitr, a Muslim holiday, should be a national holiday in Sweden. These voices have come from the Social Democrats and the Church of Sweden, two institutions that have great influence in Swedish society. Even though Eid-al-fitr has not become a national holiday, yet, several municipalities choose to celebrate it.

        As long as Sweden has existed as a nation, the bond to its ancestral neighbor, Finland, has been strong and Finnish has been the second most popular language here. In 2018, the linguist Mikael Parkvall noted that Arabic is now the second most popular language in Sweden. At the same time, many children born in Sweden learn Swedish so poorly that they cannot speak it properly, because there is not enough Swedish spoken in some preschools and grade schools. This change is unfolding at a rapid pace.

        It is not just Swedish society that will look radically different within a decade. The Swedish welfare state, which has been the hallmark of the Swedish state known around the world, is also changing or possibly even being phased out.

        The calculations underpinning Sweden’s welfare state are based on the assumption of a majority of adults employed full-time, who pay income tax to the state. What the state receives needs to be greater than what it pays out in the form of various welfare benefits and transfer payments. When a large number of people who receive welfare benefits cannot find employment or are not willing to work, there is a crisis. This is exactly what has happened in Sweden with its liberal immigration policy.

        An example highlighted in Swedish media is Filipstad, a municipality with more than 10,000 inhabitants. There, the proportion of residents with a foreign background has increased from 8.5 % in 2002 to 22.7 % in 2018. Between 2012 and 2018, the domestic-born group decreased by 640 individuals, while the foreign-born group increased by 963. Those who move out of Filipstad are Swedish-born and of working age. At the same time, Filipstad’s City Manager, Claes Hultgren, is concerned that the newly arrived migrants do not have the necessary skills to enter the labor market. The consequence for municipalities such as Filipstad, is that they then must make cutbacks in the welfare services that the municipality has a responsibility to supply.

        Filipstad is not the only municipality to suffer from cutbacks. According to a report from the association Sweden’s Municipalities and Regions (SKR), in 2023, there will be a deficit of 43 billion Swedish kronor (approximately $4.6 billion) in municipal and regional operations if costs increase in line with the population growth and the state does not add more resources than already planned.

        The Social Democratic municipal commissioner in Strömsund, a Swedish municipality with 11,699 inhabitants, warned:

        “All costs are borne by the municipalities. We have never had such low unemployment in the municipality among native-born, yet, we are on our knees, and the explanation is that we also never had such high unemployment among foreign-born. And they end up in welfare, which in practice is now, for many, life-long support.”

        Charlotta Mellander, Professor of Economics at Jönköping International Business School, noted the following about the municipalities’ economic crisis:

        “This is not something that happened overnight, but the municipalities’ finances have been eroded for a long time. But something that has affected the situation is the refugee reception in 2015, where, from the beginning, the municipalities that received the most had poor conditions in terms of a labor market and integration. And that has made the situation even tougher.”

        At the beginning of this new decade, because of excessive migration and failed integration policies, Sweden faces radical cultural and economic changes that will fundamentally change the country.

        There is ongoing Is**lamization in parts of Sweden and how much this Is**lamization will affect Swedish society is something that is influenced by the political decisions that will be made during the 2020s.

        Will asylum immigration to Sweden from Muslim countries continue? Will Swedish authorities continue to support Is**lamic culture with tax funds? Will the immigrants adopt Swedish culture, or will the failed integration approach continue and the Swedes increasingly adopt the Is**lamic culture?

        There are major conflicts between these two cultures, so the expansion of the Is**lamic culture in Sweden will doubtless create unrest of various kinds. Today, there are more contradictions between Is**lamic culture and Swedish culture than commonalities. Segregation is strong and mosques have been involved in scandals several times due to cultural conflicts between Is**lam and Swedish values.

        The new decade will therefore be both unstable and decisive for Sweden, and contain major political, cultural and economic changes inescapably taking place.

        Nima Gholam Ali Pour is policy advisor for the Sweden Democrats in the Swedish municipality of Malmö. He is author of the Swedish books “Därför är mångkultur förtryck” (“Why multiculturalism is oppression”) and “Allah bestämmer inte i Sverige” (“Allah does not decide in Sweden”).

        Article + comments: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15414/sweden-welfare-crisis

        Viola Vag

        January 26, 2020 at 6:19 pm

      • @ Viola

        Rightwing fear mongering, blame the foreigners, blame the immigrants, for Societal problems and economic imbalances caused by the rich.

        trev

        January 26, 2020 at 6:36 pm

      • Rubbish! There is nothing right-wing about it. It is a well-written article from a renowned researcher published by the esteemed Gatestone Institute.

        Viola

        January 26, 2020 at 6:41 pm

      • “Unless democracy is to commit suicide by consenting to its own destruction, it will have to find some formidable answer to those who come to it saying: I demand from you in the name of your principles the rights which I shall deny to you later in the name of my principles.” ~ Walter Lippmann

        Viola Vag

        January 26, 2020 at 6:45 pm

      • @ Flora

        Yes. Support for children that have been born within any civilised society worth its salt should be unlimited and unconditional because, however children are conceived, all children are born innocent and should not be impoverished or punished for the actions of their parents. A civilised society should not use poverty as a means of contraception and the health and welfare of children born to citizens of such a society should be guaranteed irrespective of whom a child’s parents might happen to be, their status in life, or their past actions. As I write these words I know that you won’t have the slightest inkling as per why I hold these opinions or be moved to feel any sympathy towards babies and children born to mother’s you disapprove of and vilify. Unlike you and not being into sadism, necrophilia and bestiality I never flog a dead horse.

        I wish good health and luck to you.

        Bye-bye.

        Kindred

        January 26, 2020 at 6:53 pm

      • The Gatestone Institute is a far-right think tank known for publishing anti-Muslim articles and not “respected” in the way Viola suggest above. I fear poor Viola doesn’t know her left from her right, literally! No wonder she seem carpet-chewingly lost and confused. Poor dear.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatestone_Institute

        Kindred

        January 26, 2020 at 6:58 pm

      • Kindred, Q: How many countries around the world do you think there are where the State funds your lifestyle choice of churning out unlimited kids? A, None The whole world must be uncivlised. Maybe it is.

        I wish good health and luck to you.

        Bye-bye.

        Flora

        January 26, 2020 at 7:01 pm

      • In most counties around the world, except the UK? you get £diddly-squat from the State for having kids. People have less kids. Most people, especially those who have to pay for them, have large families. Large families are the province of benefit claimants, certain religious groups, certain ethnic groups, and particular countries/continents such as Africa. Families in Arfica think nothing of having 50 kids. How would such a situation play out in the UK? How would you prevent these innocent kids from suffering? Raise taxes through the roof?

        Flora

        January 26, 2020 at 7:06 pm

      • *Most people, especially those who have to pay for them, DO NOT have large families

        Flora

        January 26, 2020 at 7:08 pm

      • You are supposed to pull the article apart, Kindred, not just blast a respected institute as ‘racist’ just because you don’t agree with it. Where does the article go wrong? If it bull say where the bull is.

        Flora

        January 26, 2020 at 7:12 pm

      • Anyway, I thought you said not to believe everything you read on Wikipedia 🙂 except when it suits you 😀

        Flora

        January 26, 2020 at 7:15 pm

      • The Institute seems a bit more complicated. It has Iranian, etc. members, articles written by Iranian, etc, members. Captions about political prisoners being held in Iran, one woman has been locked up for opposing the death penalty. If opposing the death penalty and the hanging of gays from the job of a crane makes you right-wing then so be it.

        Flora

        January 26, 2020 at 7:22 pm

      • @ Flora

        Thank you for your good wishes, Flora, which are of course reciprocated. Bless you.

        Kindred

        January 27, 2020 at 8:22 am

      • My aunt’s son caught one of the local neds in her garden trying to break in and chased him off. Later on in the middle of the night the whole family came round and torched her car and broke every single window in her house, Like the disabled lady above the police etc. don’t care and don’t do nothing. They had to flee their home. The point is that this large family of feral scum are all on benefits. People like my aunt who go out to work and pay taxes are paying for these gangs of feral thugs who terrorise our communities. They breed like rabbits. They have huge families. They are in large numbers to pick on the weak and vulnerable. All paid for by our tax money. I am not going to mince my words here. I agree with the two-child tax limit. I also agree with the benefits caps. People like Kindred should stop seeing innocents babies and realise what they quickly become. Compassion and humanity can be your undoing. Less scrupulous people see it as a sign of weakness, that you are open to exploitation and abuse Hopefully, the disincentive to breed will mean that less of these feral scum are born; they simply won’t exist to terrorise our communities. I honestly believe that this is the only way to deal with this problem. Cut them off at source. Make it as difficult as possible for these scum to reproduce in the first place. Well done the Conservatives, and it is why I would never have voted for that stupid Corbyn man because I know the first thing he would have done in office is reverse what he calls ‘cuts’, I see them as sensible policy.

        Melanie

        January 27, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      • @ Melanie

        Hi, Mel. I reckon your last post above was a bit of cut and paste from some alt-right or neo-Nazi website and not actually something you wrote in your own words because the author of that nonsense sounds disturbed, unbalanced and quite possibly mentally ill. If you wrote the rant yourself I suggest you visit your GP and ask to be referred to a psychiatrist, psychologist or some other expert in mental health for assessment because the rank paranoia and strident xenophobia exhibited is worrying and in my opinion deserves attention. Unfortunately I have neither the knowledge or ability to help you personally and can only wish you well. Based on your post(s) I fear that your way is likely to be uncertain, dark and long. Good luck to you and God bless you..

        Kindred

        January 28, 2020 at 8:18 am

      • On the contrary Dear Kindred one can clearly state that it is you who are projecting your own mental health problems onto other contributors. You offer no reasoned argument in response to them. Instead you fall back on your only defence mechanism, namely trotting out a serious of derogatory labels. One suspects that you have been labelled at some point in your own life. If you don’t mind me asking what mental health disorder were you were diagnosed with? What is doubly ironic is that it will be your who and your fellow benefits claimants will be facing a long and dark road under a lifetime of Tory rule. And here again you are projecting your own fears and anxieties. An internet blog is no forum to offer treatment. You must urgently seek professional care. As a first step you must speak with your doctor. Good luck and may you have a swift recovery. Sincerely, Dr Shrink

        Dr Shrink Psy.D, PhD, Msc,, MA, Bsc (Hons)

        January 28, 2020 at 9:29 am

      • Antifa

        January 28, 2020 at 9:46 am

      • @ Dr Shrink

        As I have said I am no expert on mental health, I’m actually and old age pensioner as it happens, but reckon the following pretty much describes the silly (and probably quite ill) right-wing posters:

        https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/toxic-relationships/201709/how-spot-narcissistic-abuse

        No stable person happy within their own skins could say, let alone believe, most of the atrocious inhumane and psychopathic verbiage that gets posted on this site and I reckon most of it originates from bored people with too much time on their hands, without full and fulfilling lives like the rest of us, trying to get a rise out of visitors to this site for reasons along the lines of those outlined in the article relating to the link above. Nobody happy within their own skins behaves like that and, hand on heart, I feel kind of sad for such pathetic souls bereft of the pleasures, gratifications and diversions that even I enjoy at the ripe old age of sixty-nine and a bit.

        This is why I can’t find it in me to become angry towards such lost and lonely souls.

        To feel like that and be driven to behave like that is a burden that no one should have to shoulder.

        Kindred

        January 28, 2020 at 12:54 pm

      • What used to be described as narcissism/self-love has now morphed into well being/mindfulness/ self-care. What was once bad and negative is now good and positive. It just goes to show what a load of old baloney the whole psychology/psychiatry ‘industry’ is.

        Mad Mental Mary

        January 28, 2020 at 1:16 pm

      • yeah, jobcentre have diagnosed me with oppositional defiance disorder for not signing provider contracts pmsl

        superted's rotten teef

        January 28, 2020 at 1:34 pm

  17. It’s Rightwing racist Is lamo phobic drivel

    trev

    January 26, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    • Do you support the Mad Mullahs then, trev? Well, Jezza certainly does 😉

      Flora

      January 26, 2020 at 7:25 pm

      • @ Flora

        I don’t support racism or white supremacist propaganda, and neither does Jeremy Corbyn.

        trev

        January 26, 2020 at 7:42 pm

      • And so there is no Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party? 😀 If Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party isn’t racist what is? Pull the other one, trev, it’s got bells on 😀

        Flora

        January 26, 2020 at 8:33 pm

      • And by dint of your lack of response you also support the Mad Mullahs just like Jeremy Corbyn.

        Flora

        January 26, 2020 at 8:35 pm

      • And you also support the death penalty and the hanging of gays from the jib of a crane? Well, that’s socialism for you.

        Flora

        January 26, 2020 at 8:37 pm

      • Grow up “Flora”

        trev

        January 26, 2020 at 9:04 pm

      • Jezza remains steadfastly “neutral” on the death penalty and the hanging of gays from the jib of a crane.

        Aziz

        January 27, 2020 at 8:54 am

      • @ Aziz

        Eh? You reckon Jezza is ambivalent in respect to capital punishment and hanging gays? Surely shome mishtake? I think all and I do mean ALL reputable British politicians and political parties are against both of those, Aziz. Even Nigel Farage. (Hard to believe I know but I tell you no lie.) As far as I know Jeremy Corbyn has been opposed to capital punishment all his life if not longer. Where on earth did you hear or read that he wasn’t? If you’ve got a link to an article or video on the internet where you saw this please let me know so I can discover who’s been spreading such libellous rumours. (I hate to tell you this but an awful lot of people on the web simply make things up, propagate falsehoods and tell lies all the time. Hard to credit but 100% true I’m afraid.) Hopefully you haven’t been frittering away your time visiting that awful Gatestone Institute site, just like poor Viola above, when there are better websites available for view that don’t put your mental health at risk.

        Cheers and hallelujah anyway!

        Kindred

        January 27, 2020 at 10:38 am

      • Jeremy Corbyn is the most smeared politician in history.

        trev's aunt

        January 27, 2020 at 10:49 am

  18. Let’s not forget the genuine difficulties with some aspects of multiculturalism. as Sweden is now discovering.
    Women’s rights, cultural issues around mixed schooling for both genders. Religious as opposed to secular education. There are many contentious issues.

    Tom Sutton

    January 28, 2020 at 2:05 pm

  19. An elderly man, twice married, was in the pub one evening and gave me this heartfelt piece of advice :
    ‘ Women are like cars, if you can’t get a decent one, don’t bother.’……..Words to live by.

    Fred Hartnell

    January 28, 2020 at 2:18 pm


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