Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Posts Tagged ‘DWP

‘Partial’ Climbdown on Universal Credit Cut?

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Ministers mull partial climbdown on Universal Credit cut after criticism of  soaring | User Walls

Ministers mull partial climbdown on universal credit cut after warnings of soaring poverty

Independent.

A partial climbdown on the looming cut to universal credit is being considered by ministers, to head off fierce criticism that huge numbers of people will be plunged into poverty.

The £20-a-week reduction would stay – but working people who receive the benefit would be allowed to keep more of their earnings, under the proposal.

The so-called “taper rate” – the amount a claimant loses for every extra pound they earn – would be reduced from 63p to 60p, if the Treasury agrees the move.

Guardian:

The Currant Bun says,

Millions of Brits face a cost of living crisis this winter — with food and gas prices rising as benefits are slashed and furlough ends.

Ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions, fearing a backlash, have reportedly handed Chancellor Rishi Sunak a package of options.

This could reduce the impact of the impending cut with extra spending in other areas.

The options include giving extra cash to councils for emergency assistance funds.

Also being discussed is reducing the taper rate for Universal Credit from 63 to 60p.

That would mean workers keep more of what they earn.

It looks like few, if any, of our contributors will he helped.

This is a surprise….

Written by Andrew Coates

September 24, 2021 at 9:03 am

Parliament Debates Universal Credit Cut: Tories Abstain and Vow to Ignore Defeat.

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The Universal Credit cut has been raised in Parliament today

The debate was not well attended, and only a handful of Tories (seen on BBC Parliament, yup I watched it..) sat in the Chamber.

One who was there.

In the afternoon debate Beth Winter (Labour, Cynon Valley) called not just to cancel the cut but to extend the £20 uplift to those on Legacy Benefits.

Mired in a the scandal over her recent statements, – “removing the £20 uplift would only mean “two hours’ extra work every week” for claimants – Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey, did not have the courage to address the House of Commons.

Minion Will Quince Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions and MP for Colchester (not that far from Coffey’s Felixstowe homeland), said this was not a ‘cut’. It has been a “time-limited measure’ (what time limit?). To maintain the uplift would cosy (plucks figure from air) 6 Billion, if not more. The ‘safety net’ of benefits should not “trap people on welfare”. Now the government was concentrating its efforts on getting people into work.

The Labour motion was carried, 253 to Zero. All the Tories abstained. The resolution has no binding effect at all.

The motion will simply be ignored., Angela Eagle (Labour) called the Conservatives behaviour “despicable”, We ae now waiting for the (Procedurally necessary) government to respond within 12 weeks.

As the Mirror put it earlier today,

A Commons vote on axing the Universal Credit cut for six million Brits looks set to PASS today as Tory MPs are told to sit it out.

Yet Boris Johnson intends to completely ignore the result – because the vote has no legal force.

Downing Street said he will push ahead with the £20-a-week slashing next month anyway – despite today’s vote “calling on the Government to cancel its planned cut to Universal Credit andWorking Tax Credit.”

Today’s decision prompted furious recriminations from Labour, who tabled the desperate plea to stop the cut in a Commons debate and said its wishes should be carried out.

A Labour spokeswoman said: “This is a major cut that will affect millions of families across the country.

“We have given Tory MPs the chance to do the right thing. We would expect them to vote on a motion that will have a major impact on people’s lives.

Some updates from Twitter:

Written by Andrew Coates

September 15, 2021 at 4:08 pm

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

Government Pulls Opposition Day debate on Universal Credit Cut. Instead MPs will vote on National Insurance hike.

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Government pulls plans for imminent vote on controversial universal credit  cut | The Independent

Government pulls plans for imminent vote on universal credit cut.

Universal Credit vote blocked as government scraps opposition day

Elliot Chappell. Labour List.

Jacob Rees-Mogg has told parliament that an opposition day debate, in which Labour had been planning to force a vote on a cut to Universal Credit, will not take place so that MPs can vote on the plan to raise National Insurance instead.

The leader of the House of Commons informed MPs of the change to the schedule following a statement by Boris Johnson this afternoon, in which the Prime Minister confirmed plans to break a 2019 Tory manifesto pledge with a 1.25% levy.

Johnson announced the policy as part of the funding arrangement for his long-awaited social care plan. He presented the proposal to the cabinet this morning before coming to parliament to outline his “sustainable” plan for the care sector.

Reacting to the change in scheduling, Labour’s Thangam Debbonaire said: “This morning, cabinet was bounced into the Prime Minister’s so-called social care plan and now the leader is trying to bounce parliament into accepting it in a vote tomorrow. This is no way to run a government. It’s no way to run a country.

“This Tory tax rise won’t come in until next spring, so why the rush? Does he know that he will never get it past his backbenchers, through parliament, otherwise? Is he making sure that his own MPs have as little time as possible to consult their constituents or hear from stakeholders and experts?”

Labour had been hoping to force a vote on the government’s £20-per-week cut to Universal Credit, which will take effect from October 6th. Ministers face opposition on the move from the opposition and campaigners as well as backbench Tories.

“The government have pulled Labour’s vote on the cut to Universal Credit that would have been tomorrow to vote on the NI increase instead. I will do all I can to ensure a vote still takes place. The biggest cut in the history of the welfare state must be debated in parliament,” Jonathan Reynolds said.

***

On the issue actually debated today the TUC has issued this statement.

TUC – PM’s social care announcement is “deeply disappointing” to workforce 

Commenting on today’s (Tuesday) social care announcement by the Prime Minister, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: 

“We need a social care system that delivers high-quality care and high-quality employment. 

“New funding for social care is long overdue. But today’s announcement will have been deeply disappointing both to those who use care, and to those who provide it. 

“The Prime Minister promised us a real plan for social care services, but what we got was vague promises of money tomorrow. 

“Care workers need to see more pay in their pockets now. Nothing today delivered that. Instead, the only difference it will make to low-paid care staff is to push up their taxes. 

“This is so disappointing after the dedication care workers have shown during this pandemic keeping services running and looking after our loved ones. 

“Proposals to tax dividends should have been just once piece in a plan to tax wealth, not an afterthought to a plan to tax the low-paid workers who’ve got us through the pandemic. 

“We know social care needs extra funding. But the prime minister is raiding the pockets of low-paid workers, while leaving the wealthy barely touched. 

“We need a genuine plan that will urgently tackle the endemic low pay and job insecurity that blights the social care sector – and is causing huge staff shortages and undermining the quality of care people receive.” 

The TUC published proposals on Sunday to fund social care and a pay rise for the workforce by increasing Capital Gains Tax. 

The union body says increasing tax on dividends is a welcome first step to reforming the way we tax wealth, but that it won’t generate the revenue needed to deliver a social care system this country deserves. 

Instead, by taxing wealth and assets at the same level as income tax, the government could raise up to £17bn a year to invest in services and give all care staff a minimum wage of £10 an hour. 

TUC analysis shows that seven in 10 social care workers earn less than £10 an hour and one in four are on zero-hours contracts. 

Polling published on Sunday by the TUC showed that eight in 10 working adults – including seven in 10 Conservative voters – support a £10 minimum wage for care workers. 

Written by Andrew Coates

September 8, 2021 at 11:54 am

Posted in Cuts, DWP, Tories, Universal Credit

Tagged with , ,

Cut in Universal Credit Dominates Benefits News.

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Our contributors raise issues about benefits sanctions, work ‘coaches’, the Work and Health Programme and Training Services, which got money from the European Social Fund, Restart, the risks of opening Job Centres, Internet Access, and the State Pension and Pension Credit (well worth applying for if you have little money and, obviously, no private pension).

When this Blog was first set up we exchanged a lot of experience on back-to-work ‘schemes’, including placements in variety of companies and public services. Many had serious difficulties with them, probably most with the ‘courses’ given by enterprises like SEETEC. They now seem to be have got set up again.

But the news on Benefits remains overshadowed by the coming cut in Universal Credit.

‘We keep on struggling’: Families on Universal Credit prepare for life without the £20 uplift

Some people, on Legacy Benefits, never got that “uplift”.

Sky.

It’s just under a month to go until the £20 Universal Credit uplift, put in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic, comes to an end.

It’s being called the biggest overnight social security cut since World War Two.

This autumn, as the government seeks to claw back some of the unprecedented emergency spending undertaken since COVID-19 hit the UK, familiar security blankets like the £20 uplift to Universal Credit are set to be removed.

It won’t be without its consequences.

Doctors, charities and even some Conservative MPs are calling on the government to rethink its decision to end the uplift.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) says that most parts of England, Scotland and Wales will see more than one in three families and their children affected as a result of the £1,040-a-year .

The Trussell Trust estimates that nearly a quarter of a million parents on Universal Credit fear not being able to sufficiently put dinner on the table for their children when the £20 cut comes into force from October.

Benefits Boss Coffey has been on a jolly in Japan.

Written by Andrew Coates

September 5, 2021 at 5:41 pm