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The Universal Credit to replace all other work-age benefits.


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Well I have just spent the day reading the white paper on the new Universal credit which you can read for yourself here: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/welfare-reform/legislation-and-key-documents/universal-credit/

 

The main points that stand out to me are that:

 

1. Although the Universal credit itself wont be introduced until October 2013, more draconian sanctions will be introduced for Jobseekers and people deemed fit for some kind of work through the contraversial Personal Capability Test. These sanctions will be introduced early next year.

 

2. Sanctions can vary from one week to three years (!) depending on the reason for the sanction. Although hardship (a vastly reduced amount of benefit for the period of the sanction) will be available they are thinking of introducing a loan instead (which I can see causing an outrage). Some sanctions due to thier severity will not give the option of a hardship payment.

 

3. When the Universal Credit starts, everyone will have an online account where you put all your details in and, you can change your circumstances etc and this will automatically update your claim to benefit. When you "sign off" to start work your benefit tapers off rather than abruptly stopping and your online account will stay "open" for up to three months after you start work so if it was only temporary work or perhaps a couple of weeks through an agency, you can just update the account without making a new claim.

 

4. One of the biggest things that people will have to get used to (IMHO) is that the Universal Credit will replace Jobseekers Allowance (income based), Income Support, Employment Support Allowance and Housing Benefit. This credit will pay a monthly sum and people will have to budget it accordingly. I can see this creating a very big problem for some people.

 

5. Starting work, either full time or part time will not necessarily mean the end of your benefits, depending on the amount paid, a certain amount of benefit may still be payable. Also declaring work is easier as once you have initially updated your account with the information, the inland revenue is going to have a linking computer system which will calculate how much you are earning (from your paye amounts) and reduce your Universal Credit amount accordingly. This should eradicate overpayment due to the time it takes currently to recieve and process wageslips etc.

 

6. Lone parents whose youngest child is five or older will be expected to be available for certain work, this will also (for the first time) include partners on JSA claims whose youngest child is five years old or younger, they will have to be available to do work. The advisors will have to take into consideration certain childcare priorities and parents who care for sick or disabled children will be exempt from this.

 

Rather a mixed bag.

 

Yes the benefits system needs an overhaul and yes I agree having a one size fits all benefit with add ons for special circumstances is streamlined and would be less complicated and cheaper to run and administer however some of the other stuff is a bit draconian. Using a hammer to crack a nut in my opinion.

Advice given is my opinion only, I am not a legal or financial expert (far from it).

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It is seriously draconian and very worrying, I also noticed it includes no taper for single people and further reductions in housing costs in situations such as mine whereby as my home is a secured tenancy h/a house and as my children have grown up and left home I will be penalized. What gives them the god damn right to force me out of my family home which I have lived in for years and which would also mean that not only will I end up homeless but also I would not get to see or spend time with my children or grandchildren as they live in different towns and abroad in the forces and would not be able to visit as they would have nowhere to stay. And as for these planned sanctions this is no more than slavery and inhuman, and unjust and who decides whether sanction goes ahead DWP advisers, where have all our human rights gone and freedom , it;s time the public fought back and stood up against this act to control us and treat us as less than human. I have worked all my life, bringing up 3 children on my own rather than living on benefits and have the unfortunate situation of being currently too ill to work and this is the case for the majority of us that have to try and live on benefits. We have paid our taxes and N/I we are not scroungers or fraudsters and most certainly would not choose to live on the mere pittance were given to live on and do not deserve to be treated as criminals and slaves to a government that is corrupt and power hungry for control. They should cut there salaries and there expense benefits for second homes etc. Force them to live for a few months on what little we get with no access to any other resources and then see how they manage, they would soon find out just how hard it really is.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I thought the whole point of the Universal Credit was to simplify the system and save money. It's clear that there's a limit to how much can be saved as the government freely admit that the largest proportion of money spent is not administration but the actual payment of benefits.

 

Having read through the paper, it strikes me as largely pointless as Contribution based JSA and ESA, as well as Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit are not going to be included and will continue as separate benefits :!: I mean, what's the point then?

 

Also noticed that there's talk of no-one's benefit being less at the point of switchover from JSA/ESA/IB to the UC. This strikes me as pointing heavily to the allowance being set at a lower rate than current benefits.

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2. Sanctions can vary from one week to three years (!) depending on the reason for the sanction. Although hardshiplink3.gif (a vastly reduced amount of benefit for the period of the sanction) will be available they are thinking of introducing a loan instead (which I can see causing an outrage). Some sanctions due to thier severity will not give the option of a hardship payment.

 

What the hell..... You can end up with no money what so ever. Not even hardships payments and they are nothing to be honest. Surely this is human rights.

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Clearly this is not going to work and you can be sure they will back down on each and every aspect of it before it comes in as people with more savvy fully explain the chaos and terminal hardship it would cause.

 

In the meantime god know what all the stress will do to the vulnerable.

 

B*s*a*ds

 

Of course around about the time it comes in we are due for an election, if not before, and we all have a vote.

Edited by kerravon
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