Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Archive for the ‘Unemployment’ Category

Food Banks Braced for Universal Credit Cut.

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Trussell Trust records 'busiest' period across its food banks nationwide |  Salisbury Journal

Food Banks Gear Up for Universal Credit Cut.

The news reports keep rolling out.

On Sunday, as this Blog has already mentioned, every Sunday there is this, just around the corner,

Several churches in the South England Conference are operating as ADRA community hubs during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. They are providing food, provisions and assistance in their area under ADRA’s, I AM Urban initiative.

Food for the homeless (packed lunch).

Available for collection every Sunday 12pm – 1pm.

(Seventh Day Adventist Church).

There is always a small crowd.

Now there is this news.

Ipswich food banks reopen and struggle to get supplies before benefit cut and furlough end.

Ipswich Star.

Ipswich food banks have reopened a shop and are struggling to get supplies ahead of the cut to Universal Credit and the end of furlough in October. 

In addition to these “big” changes, Gareth Brenland from foodbank and homelessness charity the Bus Shelter Ipswich says at the end of next month families will have children at home without free school meals. 

Mr Brenland said: “I’m concerned. 

“That cut to Universal Credit affects me and is £80 a month. It will have a big impact on me. 

“Last month we did 49 food parcels but I’m expecting 100s. 

Graham Denny, founder and administrator of the BASIC Life Charity, who runs Ipswich and Felixstowe charity stores where you can get all your shopping for £2, is preparing for the big change. 

“We’ve taken lots of provisions from Suffolk County Council,” Mr Denny said. “We’re quite aware of the challenges that are coming and how difficult that is going to be and I think we’re ready for that.”

Our Hard Right Tory MP, who spends most of his time railing against ‘Woke’ and ‘Cultural Marxism’ said this (the first time he has expressed on opinion on these fringe issues).

Mr Hunt said he did tell Mr Sunak he thinks the uplift should be permanent but pointed out the chancellor will have to make “difficult” decisions in light of the over £400 billion borrowed during the pandemic. 

Around 5,790 people in Ipswich were on out-of-work benefits as of mid-July, down 145 from 5,935 in mid-June.

He added he sympathises with his constituents who are facing these challenges but said he knows from talking to Ipswich business they need staff and have lots of vacancies.  

Here is the MP for the Constituency next to Ipswich,

Written by Andrew Coates

September 12, 2021 at 7:28 am

Johnson – Universal Credit Claimants Should Rely On Their Own ‘Efforts’ Not Welfare.

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There’s been a flurry of stories about the Universal Credit cut today:

But this stands out.

Boris Johnson Says Universal Credit Claimants Should Rely On Their Own ‘Efforts’ Not Welfare.

“Boris Johnson has defended planned cuts to Universal Credit by suggesting claimants should rely on their own “efforts” rather than accept “welfare”.

The prime minister shrugged off a growing Tory rebellion over the removal of the £1,000-a-year top-up to the benefit, which was introduced to cushion the impact of the Covid pandemic on low-income families.

Everyone on Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit will see the uplift axed on October 6 and a new report warned that households in more than 50 Tory marginals won in 2019 would be among those hardest hit.”

The man who looks like adopting the Bertie Wooster strategy before the Beak of ‘sout denial’ continues

But Johnson made a robust defence of the benefit cut plans, declaring that it was better for people to get more money by working harder than by relying on income that came from other taxpayers.

“My strong preference is for people to see their wages rise through their efforts rather than through taxation of other people put into their pay packets, rather than welfare,” he said.

He added: “The key focus for this government is on making sure that we come out of Covid strongly, with a jobs-led recovery, and I’m very pleased to see the way the unemployment numbers, the unemployment rate has been falling, employment has been rising, but also wages have been rising.”

However, critics point out that many of Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit are actually in work, but are on low wages.

Meanwhile our all-heart Minister is here:

Written by Andrew Coates

August 26, 2021 at 5:09 pm

Dole Cut Still Going Ahead.

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“Universal Credit helped me support myself while I worked part-time and started a yoga business.” - Samantha, Wiltshire

Under the Tories the DWP are all Heart….

Ending the £20 Universal Credit uplift will be like ‘taking one leg off’ people, campaigner says

ITV News.

The £20 Universal Credit uplift has proven to be a vital lifeline for families across Wales and should not be scrapped, a campaigner has said.

Sheila Powell, a retiree from Flintshire who herself claims Universal Credit and works with local charities to support people who are struggling financially, said removing the uplift would be like “taking one leg off” those struggling.

The Universal Credit uplift was introduced as an economic support measure to help families on lower incomes at the beginning of the pandemic, with the UK Chancellor announcing it in his March 2020 Budget.

Working Tax Credits were also topped up by £20 as part of the UK Government’s uplift.

The Universal Credit uplift was subsequently extended in March 2021 for another six months and is due to expire at the end of September.

Those claiming Working Tax Credits were given a one-off £500 payment earlier this year around the time the UC uplift extension was announced.

Comment:

The more you look at it the more the £20, which those on ‘legacy benefits’ never got, was and is important.

Look at these details:

Universal Credit cut: Everything you need to know Desde.com.

As it stands, the government is set to slash benefits by £20 a week – equivalent to £1,040 a year – from 6 October. The exact date  people will see the cut kick in will depend on the day they get their Universal Credit payment. For many, this means September will be the last month they see their benefits paid at existing levels.

How many people will be affected?

If plans go ahead, the cut will hit nearly six million people on Universal Credit. More than a third (38%) of those who’ll see their income hit are already in employment, while one in six (16%) are under 25.

Latest figures show roughly 1.9 million families with children will see their benefits cut.

Regions that will see the biggest proportion of residents hit by the cut are London and the North East.

How much could I lose?

While every Universal Credit claim will drop by around £85 a month, the proportion of income claimants will lose will vary depending on their circumstances.

Single people under 25 are set to be hit by the biggest drop.

Monthly standard allowances will drop:

  • By a quarter for single claimants under 25, from £344 to £257.33
  • By a fifth for single claimants over 25, from £411.51 to £324.84
  • By 17% for joint claimants under 25, from £490.60 to £403.93
  • By 14% for joint claimants over 25, from £596.58 to £509.91

Previous analysis by Citizens Advice shows £20 a week is equivalent to six days of energy costs or three days of food costs for a low-income family.

What support is available if I’m worried about my income?

You’re not alone and there is support available. Everyone’s situation is different so it’s important to seek independent help from somewhere like Citizens Advice. Depending on your circumstances, this could include:

  • A benefits check. This will help you verify you’re getting all the support you’re entitled to. You can use an online calculator or contact your local Citizens Advice.
  • Support with essential costs. You can contact your local council to see if they can give you any extra help from a hardship fund, including food or essential things like clothes. Check your local council on GOV.UK.
  • Help with debt. Some bills can cause you more problems than others if you don’t pay them. Rent or mortgage arrears, energy bills and council tax are your priority debts as there can be serious consequences if you don’t pay them. Citizens Advice can provide guidance if you’re struggling with bills.
  • Free school meals. If you have children and you get certain benefits, you might be able to get free school meals for your children.
  • Food bank vouchers. If you can’t afford the food you can ask for a referral from Citizens Advice or an organisation that’s already supporting you – for example, a charity, school or children’s centre – for a food bank voucher.
May be a Twitter screenshot of 1 person and text that says "RD Hale @RD Hale Why the hell are we still paying for 2nd homes for MPs on £80K a year, when Universal Credit doesn't cover the cost of running one home for an ordinary family? 05 Aug 21 Twitter Web App 22:29"

This below might affect some people here, or those we know:

Written by Andrew Coates

August 10, 2021 at 5:35 pm

Cut to Universal Credit Payments Still on the Cards.

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Let’s Not Forget that not everybody. those on Legacy Benefits for example, Got the £20.

DWP could cut Universal Credit when lockdown ends in less than a month

Lockdown restrictions were due to end on June 21 but were delayed by four weeks to July 19

Universal Credit and Tax Credit claimants say £20 cut to ‘vital lifeline’ leaving them struggling to sleep

Daily Record’

Almost half (46%) of adults in households on Universal Credit or Tax Credits are worried that the upcoming £20 cut will affect their ability to afford food.

This is according to national poverty charity Turn2us who added that some families were suffering from anxiety, stress, depression and loss of sleep.

Almost half (46%) of adults in households on Universal Credit or Tax Credits are worried that the upcoming £20 cut will affect their ability to afford food, according to national poverty charity Turn2us.

The release of the research marks the start of a three month countdown to the cut, when Universal Credit claimants will lose £20 a week from their benefits. The September removal of this vital lifeline could see half a million people, including 200,000 children, pulled into poverty overnight.

For the five million households on Universal Credit, and one million on working tax credits, the concerns are widespread; nearly one in two (44%) will struggle to pay bills, one in three (29%) don’t know if they will be able to continue pay their rent or mortgage, and one in five (20%) will not be able to stay out of debt.

The financial consequences of the cut are leading to a worsening mental health crisis for people relying on social security to survive:

  • 47% are experiencing anxiety about the cut
  • 32% are experiencing depression about the cut
  • 30% are experiencing loss of sleep about the cut
  • 46% are experiencing stress about the cut

Thomas Lawson, Chief Executive at Turn2us, said:

“A decade of caps, cuts and freezes to the UK’s social security payments has left it one of the least generous in Europe. Many of us already struggle to pay for the bare essentials. If the government forges ahead with its cut to Universal Credit, it could plunge many more into hunger and debt. It’s just not right that families are left unable to afford to put food on their tables and are having to turn to food banks so they and their children don’t go hungry.

“We urge the government to not just keep the £20 benefit increase, but to make it permanent and extend it to legacy benefits. Failure to do will have a detrimental impact on people’s lives and livelihoods – and their ability to contribute to our recovery.”

The charity is working in partnership with a coalition of other organisations and lived experts as part of the #KeepTheLifeline campaign. Previous findings from the campaign show that the vast majority of the British public (59%) want the uplift to be made permanent.

Written by Andrew Coates

July 1, 2021 at 5:19 pm

Benefit Sanction Changes.

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Benefit sanctions are largely ineffective and can push people into poverty  and crime finds study - About Manchester

It is hard to tell what this means, and given the far-right paper that publishes it many will be sceptical.

DWP halts benefit sanction plans due to Covid – Universal Credit claimants to be affected

UNIVERSAL credit and other benefit claimants are required to follow certain rules when getting their support and if these rules aren’t followed, sanctions can be issued. These sanctions could reduce or even hold benefit payment amounts and today, the DWP addressed how the sanction system may change going forward.

This could also impact other state benefits and recently, the Government was pushed on potential changes to the sanction system.

Chris Stephens, the Scottish National Party MP for Glasgow South West, recently asked the following question in Parliament: “To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress her Department has made on plans to roll out yellow card warnings in place of immediate benefit sanctions.”

Today, this question was answered by Mims Davies, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the DWP.

She said: “The Department committed to look at processes to give claimants a written warning, instead of a sanction, for a first sanctionable failure to attend a Work-Search Review.

Written by Andrew Coates

June 12, 2021 at 12:31 pm