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UNIVERSAL CREDIT ( UC ) : Rollout Schedule * Mines * Sanctions * Changes * Delays * Reports From Infected Manors - Page 9 - Carers UK Forum

UNIVERSAL CREDIT ( UC ) : Rollout Schedule * Mines * Sanctions * Changes * Delays * Reports From Infected Manors

All about money
266 posts
Yet another MINE now mapped :

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... efit-slash

Universal credit to slash benefits for the self-employed.

Deliveroo riders would be among thousands of low-earners to lose £344 a month, new study says.

New concerns have been raised about universal credit, the government’s flagship welfare reform, after a new analysis suggested that the vast majority of self-employed people with low earnings could lose thousands of pounds.

More than three quarters (78%) of self-employed people – such as Deliveroo and Uber drivers – on a low income in London will be more than £4,000 a year worse off as a result of universal credit, according to a study by the Policy in Practice consultancy.

The revelation has led MPs and campaigners to call for a rethink on the government’s flagship welfare reform. Frank Field, the Labour chair of the work and pensions select committee, said it was “another razor cut at the vulnerable human underbelly of the labour market”. The government has already been forced to slow down the roll-out of universal credit and overhaul how claimants are paid after complaints that some waiting weeks for their payments and falling behind with their rent.

However, serious problems have now emerged in the treatment of the self-employed because of the way their earnings are recorded under universal credit. The issues have arisen because a “minimum income floor” (MIF), based on the national living wage, is used to calculate universal credit payments each month.

Because self-employed workers’ earnings fluctuate from month to month, they sometimes fail to meet the minimum figure and lose out compared with salaried counterparts. They are also only given a year to get their businesses off the ground before the MIF kicks in. Using analysis of cases from 19 London boroughs over two years, Policy in Practice found that 78% of self-employed households on low-income in London are set to become £344 per month worse off under the new system.

Ministers argue that the system has been designed to encourage people to increase their work and move into better jobs. However, the new report warns that some people have little choice other than self-employment.

Sally Beadle, a self-employed children’s entertainer in Norfolk, said she would be affected by the new system. “Most of my money I earned in June, July, August and then December,” she said. “I have a small amount of money coming in this month, but not paid bookings this time of the year. If I earn under the minimum income floor, I don’t get any extra help.

It’s not just me. It’s gardeners, childminders. This is thousands of people. If I had to go to an employer, I would probably end up becoming very anxious and depressed and eventually become physically sick with it. I could see a situation in which I would be signed off, on long-term sickness benefits, living on the bare minimum; I would lose my private rented house.”

Field said: “Given what we now know about the hundreds of thousands of workers in the gig economy who earn less than the national living wage, it begs the question as to how many grafters and entrepreneurs are going to be further impoverished, or pushed deeper into debt, as a result of this new hole being opened up in the safety net.”

Giovanni Tonutti, who led the analysis for Policy in Practice, said self-employment could be a valuable route into work for people who would otherwise struggle as employees. “The blunt application of the minimum income floor could deter many people in this group from taking their first steps into work, undermining the overall aim of universal credit.”

David Finch, from the Resolution Foundation thinktank, said: “It is a key example of where the design of universal credit is failing to match the reality of self-employed people’s lives.

“That stems from the fact that they are expecting self-employed people to report their earnings on a monthly basis as if they were employees, when they are far more likely to have variable income over a year – and then applying a minimum income floor on a monthly basis. The two combined create these high losses.”

Chris Goulden, deputy director of policy and research at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, called for the one-year grace period to be doubled.

A DWP spokesman said: “Universal credit supports self-employed people for up to a year while they establish their business; however, it is not designed to prop up unviable businesses.

“If, after a year, the business isn’t meeting the minimum income floor, and someone wants to continue to receive benefits, they will have to either increase their self-employed earnings or look for other work.”


The amount of self-employed people on low earnings in London who could lose out as a result of universal credit


The monthly sum that these households could lose under universal credit – or more than £4,000 a year

How many more MINES to go ???

The UC rollout continues ... unabated.
Yet another mine now exposed ... not a very nice one ?

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/p ... 88976.html

Up to 100,000 children to miss out on free school meals because of government threshold, study finds.

Rollout of universal credit ‘will create a substantial number of losers’ among families whose children receive free school meals, warns the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Up to 100,000 children from low-income families will lose out on free school meals because of the government’s method for setting the threshold at which pupils qualify, a new study has found, prompting accusations the Conservatives are “consciously” targeting poor children.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said the decision to discount inflation when freezing the threshold for the next four years means thousands of children miss out.

Ministers announced in February that the threshold for free school meals for children whose parents receive universal credit will be set at £7,400 a year before benefits are taken into account. This will be frozen until 2021-22, despite inflation currently being at 2.5 per cent.

If the threshold was instead allowed to rise with inflation or earnings, between 80,000 and 100,000 more children respectively would be entitled to free school meals in 2021-22, the IFS said.

The government’s plans will “create a substantial number of losers”, the think tank warned, while Labour said the policy amounted to a “conscious choice to withdraw support from the children and families who need it most”.

An estimated 210,000 children who are not currently eligible for free school meals will qualify after the rollout of universal credit.

However, 160,000 who are currently entitled to free schools means will lose out under the new system – meaning the total increase in eligibility will be 50,000, or 4 per cent.

Hardest hit will be pupils whose parents are together, while children of lone parents will benefit most, accounting for the entire increase in the number of people eligible for free school meals.

The IFS said the finding that 100,000 children will lose out because of the failure to account for inflation highlighted the importance of the decision as to whether the threshold should be raised after 2021-22.

Tom Waters, an IFS research economist and one of the authors of the study, said: “The change in the structure of the benefits system inherent in universal credit means that the government was always going to have to come up with a new way of determining which children qualify for free school meals.

“This meant it either had to spend more public money on them in total or create some losers. Its chosen path does a combination of the two. It creates a substantial number of losers, but also a greater number of winners, with children of lone parents and of working parents especially likely to gain entitlement.”

The controversial universal credit merges six existing benefits into a single monthly payment. It is being rolled out gradually across England, with the process set to be completed by 2022.

Ministers have said the threshold for determining who qualifies for free school meals will be kept “constant” until then.

All children of families receiving universal credit are currently eligible for free school meals, but ministers say it was never their intention to make this temporary arrangement permanent.

The IFS research, which was funded by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, found only around half of children from the poorest 20 per cent of families will receive free school meals under universal credit – a similar proportion to the current system.

Commenting on the findings, Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretary, said: “By failing to uprate the eligibility threshold, the government will allow up to 100,000 children in low income families to slip through the cracks and lose out on this vital benefit.

“Just like their freeze on social security as a whole, this is a conscious choice by the Tories to withdraw support from the children and families who need it most.

“The Institute for Fiscal Studies has clearly shown that the government has not been straightforward with the families who will lose their eligibility for free school meals.

“Ministers claimed time and time again that nobody would lose a meal under their plans, but the IFS have revealed that one in eight children who were eligible before universal credit could find their meals taken away once the Tories’ plans are imposed in full.”

She added: “Yet again, the Tories are fiddling the figures rather than facing the facts. They wrongly claimed they were increasing schools funding, were caught double counting the same money on breakfasts and now their defence of cutting back on school meals has fallen apart.

“It is time for the government to think again and abandon plans that would leave so many children ineligible for a hot meal, and listen to Labour’s call for universal free school meals for all primary pupils.”

Matthew Reed, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said: “Once rollout of universal credit is complete, the new free school meals means test will put many parents in an incredibly difficult position where they may be worse off if they up their hours or get a pay rise.

“We’ve calculated that parents who tip over the threshold will have to earn more than £1,000 a year extra per child to make up for the loss in free school meals. This completely undermines the core principle of universal credit to ensure that work always pays.

“We urge the government to rethink these proposals and provide free school meals to all children who families claim universal credit so that no child has to go hungry at school.”

The IFS’s warning about free meals comes after a survey by the National Education Union (NEU) and the Child Poverty Action Group found that three in five school staff believe child poverty has worsened since 2015.

At the NEU’s annual conference last weekend, members heard from a head teacher at a school in Cumbria who said her pupils put “food in their pockets to take home because they’re not sure if they’re going to get another meal that day”.

The government has been contacted for comment.

Once again , innocent victims of deliberate Government policy ... children !

By " Passing the buck " on to the parents is one thing BUT ... it's the children that suffer !

Did any of them " Ask " to be born into this Sad New World ???
Yet another backlash from today's later web edition of the Guardian :

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... s-lose-out

Ministers told to expect backlash as millions lose out from universal credit.

Senior government adviser warns of effect of cuts to welfare budget.

Ministers will face a backlash against reform to the benefits system when millions of claimants moving on to universal credit realise their income will be cut, the government’s most senior welfare adviser has warned.

Paul Gray, chairman of the independent social security advisory committee, said that the decision to take a “substantial chunk” of funding out of the budget for universal credit risked undermining the good intentions of the reform. In 2015 his committee forced the then chancellor George Osborne to rethink and eventually ditch £4bn-worth of cuts to the tax credits system but the cuts to the universal credit budget remained.

Speaking to the Observer, Gray said the aim of universal credit – to simplify the system and encourage people back into work – was right, but he warned that building in significant budget cuts would become an issue once claimants realised they would be losing out.

“As part of the austerity programme, the last government decided it was going to take a substantial chunk out of the welfare budget,” he said. “But this will now be seen as a problem with universal credit, not a more generic issue about reducing the cost of the welfare system. That poses a significant challenge once those receiving tax credits start to migrate in serious numbers over to universal credit. Although there will be transitional protection, once a claimant’s circumstances change, a lot of people are going to realise that, because the system was modified by the austerity measures, it is now going to be financially disadvantageous to them. That is a really big challenge to come, which maybe there is not huge awareness about.

“It is a problem that a major change in the system is being introduced which will mean there are substantially more losers than gainers. Any government has got to say, if they want to offset that, where are we going to find £3bn or £4bn from? Are we going to spend less in other areas, are we going to raise taxes, or are we going to borrow more? That is a high-level political position that I don’t think a detailed scrutiny committee like mine should take a view on, or get into a campaigning position on. But it is our job to point out the consequences.”

According to the Resolution Foundation thinktank, the universal credit system will result in gains for 2.2 million working families, with an average increase in income of £41 a week. However, 3.2 million working families are expected to be worse off, with an average loss of £48 a week. About 600,000 of those who lose out, mainly couples with children, will no longer be entitled to help at all.

Gray also said there was an unfairness in the treatment of the self-employed after concerns that universal credit would lead to some ending up thousands of pounds worse off compared to an employee with the same annual earnings. The problem has emerged because of the way self-employed earnings are recorded under universal credit. A “minimum income floor” is used to calculate universal credit payments each month. Because self-employed workers’ earnings fluctuate from month to month, they sometimes fail to meet the minimum figure and lose out.

“There is a problem,” Gray said. “For the first time, we are getting serious numbers of self-employed people into the benefits system. Let’s not overlook the fact this is very difficult.

“The government has got to build in some kind of protection that means the social security system isn’t getting ripped off. My concern is that the way the parameters have been drawn at the moment means that the risk is the balance has tipped too far the other way … There is a risk that will be a disincentive to the whole entrepreneurial culture that this government and most governments are going to want to encourage.”

A spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said it was “simplistic to compare universal credit to the complex legacy benefit system”.

“Universal credit clearly shows that people are better off in work, and we know this is the best route out of poverty,” she said. “It has always been the case that when there is a change in an individual’s circumstances, their benefit entitlement may change. We are sensitive to these changes and that is why HMRC and DWP are working closely to design the best possible journey for people moving to the new system.”

In response to concern about the self-employed, she said it would not be right for the system to prop up businesses that are not viable. “That’s why, after the initial year, gainfully self-employed people are treated as if they are earning as much as working on the minimum wage,” she said. “If they are not, and they want to maintain the same level of income, they will be expected to increase their earnings rather than relying on their UC payment.”

For regular readers of this thread , a precis of what we know already , through articles already posted.

As prophesied from the very first posting , UC is an " Evil " no thanks to the Government cutting the benefits contained therein.

By the time the rollout is complete , millions will have lost out ... many of our own carees !!!
More on the effect of UC on the self employed :

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... -worse-off

Universal credit 'flaws' mean thousands will be worse off.

Analysis shows that self-employed workers could receive less over a year than employees in “traditional” jobs who earn the same amount.

Thousands of self-employed, agency, and zero-hours contract workers will be potentially hundreds of pounds a year worse off under universal credit, according to research.

Analysis by Citizens Advice claims that flaws in the new benefit mean self-employed workers whose earnings fluctuate monthly could receive far less over the course of a year than employees in “traditional” jobs who earn the same amount.

The charity says that unless the basic decade-old design of universal credit is updated it risked “creating or exacerbating financial insecurity for the rising sector of the workforce in non-traditional work”.

Its analysis shows that a self-employed worker earning £9,750 a year would be £630 worse off under universal credit than an employee with an identical annual income but paid a regular monthly salary.

The anomaly will affect people who have set up their own business, as well as those working in seasonal occupations such as agriculture and hospitality, and workers who are dependent on fluctuating overtime pay.

The charity estimates that about 4.5 million people in the UK hold down jobs which vary in hours or earnings each month, while a further 4.8 million are self-employed, the majority being eligible for in-work benefits.

“Our in-work benefit system now needs to be able to support labour market diversity, not penalise or increase risk for people whose work and earnings patterns no longer fit traditional models of employment,” the report says.

The problems are caused by the minimum income floor of universal credit, a complex rule that assumes claimants who have been self-employed for a year or more earn the equivalent of at least 35 hours at the national minimum wage each month. If they earn less than this threshold – perhaps because their work is seasonal or they are contracted to work fewer hours – their universal credit payment will not make up the difference. However, if their monthly earnings exceed this level, their benefit payment is reduced accordingly.

The minimum income floor is designed to weed out claimants with bogus or non-viable businesses. The government expects to save £1.5bn a year by 2022 by applying the rule. The Office for Budgetary Responsibility recently estimated that 400,000 claimants would experience losses as a result.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said ministers needed to ensure workers in non-traditional jobs were not left at a financial disadvantage. “Despite the labour market changing significantly in the last decade, including a rapid rise in self-employment, universal credit is still better suited to those with regular jobs.

A DWP spokesperson said: “The minimum income floor encourages people who aren’t earning enough through self-employment to grow their business or take on more hours in other employment.

“Universal credit is a flexible benefit that supports people in and out of work, those on low incomes and the self-employed, and it’s succeeding. We know that people on universal credit are moving into work quicker and staying in work longer than under the old system.”

A teething problem or ... a purpose built design fault ?

Only one winner there !

So much for " Helping " those who are self employed ... many doing so as a result of paid employed work is either insufficient or not available !

Especially disconcerning given that the Government prefers private enterprise as the way forward ?
A landmark legal challenge is on it's way.

Strange , only the Mourning / Morning Star has picked this one up ... so far ?

https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/art ... dit-policy

Landmark legal challenge begins into the Tories’ universal credit policy.

A LANDMARK legal challenge to the Tories’ “discriminatory” universal credit (UC) policy began at the High Court today.

The four-day judicial review is being brought on behalf of two “severely disabled” men who both live alone without carers. They had their benefits cut by £178 a month when they lost two premiums along with the switch from employment and support allowance (ESA) to UC.

Zoe Leventhal, for the claimants, said: “The loss related to the severe disability premium [SDP] and the enhanced disability premium [EDP], both of which are abolished under UC and not replaced in the new scheme.”

The court heard that TP, a terminally ill 52-year-old man, had his payments cut because he briefly moved from London to live with his parents in Dorset so they could look after him when he became very ill in October 2016.

The “significant cut in his monthly income at this most acutely sensitive time in his life,” when he is “receiving gruelling chemotherapy,” has had a “major impact” and left him in “undignified and unhygienic conditions.”

AR, a 36-year-old suffering from bipolar disorder, has been forced to use foodbanks and has become more isolated from his friends and family when he had his support cut after he was forced to move from Middlesbrough to Hartlepool by the bedroom tax.

Ms Leventhal said: “The effects on them and on many others of losing the amount has been significant.”

She said UC was unlawful under the Equality Act as “the impact on severely disabled people was not properly addressed in the [policy’s] equality assessment”.

The Department for Work and Pensions had “failed to have due regard to the needs of severely disabled persons” in regard to top-up payments for those affected, “despite such payments being promised repeatedly … during the legislative process,” she said.

Ms Leventhal also submitted that the policy was “discriminatory” against individuals who had moved from one local authority area to another.

She said that TP and AR were not receiving top-up payments “because they had a house move across local authority boundaries,” while those “with the same needs [and] in the same position” who had not moved received the payments.

Ms Leventhal also said that the 2013 Universal Credit Regulations were “discriminatory” against “severely disabled people living alone without a carer.”

She argued that the court could “interfere” with the government’s policy as it was “intended to focus additional support on the most severely disabled, yet a large cohort of that are getting much less.”

Speaking outside court, campaign group WinVisible’s Claire Glasman compared the government’s treatment of disabled people to that of the Windrush generation. “It is the same brutality,” she said.

The hearing continues.

Note ... as posted much earlier ... what goes in from the Old Money system does not all come out under UC !!!

Needless to add , I will monitor for further news as soon as it appears on the Internet.
Hi Chris ,universal cockup is due to be rolled out in Shropshire later this month .
We get housing benefit ,Malcolm get ESA and i get Income support ,any ideas if we will be better off ,worse of ,or no difference .
I could do without worrying about this at the moment .
Thanks .
Hi David ... chance for you to try out a " New toy " I've just come across on the Internet.

A Universal Credit calculator !

https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/Calcu ... sal-Credit

Why not take it for a test drive and report back ???
Rollout schedule for the remainder of 2018 ... YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED !
May 2018

In England, Scotland, Wales: Annan, Basingstoke, Barnet, Bathgate, Bodmin, Bracknell, Bracknell Forest, Bridgnorth, Chatham, Diss, Dumfries, Edmonton, Folkestone, Gravesend, Gravesham, Hendon, Heywood, Huyton, Jarrow ( That will go down well with one mod ! ) Kirkby, Killingworth, Livingston, Maidenhead, Market Drayton, Middleton, Newark, Newquay, North Shields, Oswestry, Rochdale, Rushden, Scarborough, Selby, Sevenoaks, Shrewsbury, South Shields, Stanraer, St Austell, Stowmarket, Truro, Wallsend, Walthamstow, Whitby, Whitchurch, Wokingham.

In Northern Ireland: Kilkeel, Downpatrick, Newry, Bangor, Newtownards, Holywood Road, Knockbreda, Newtownabbey and Shankill.

June 2018

In England, Scotland, Wales: Abergavenny, Alfreton, Ashford, Banff, Barnsbury, Bedminster, Belper, Bishopsworth, Blaby, Blairgowrie, Buckie, Bradford Eastbrook Court, Caldicott, Chepstow, Chester le Street, Bradford Westfield House, Bridgend, Bristol Temple St, Colwyn Bay, Cornwall, Crawley, Darlington, Dereham, Durham, Elgin, Eyemouth, Finsbury Park, Forres, Fraserburgh, Galashiels, Hanley, Hawick, Haywards Heath, Heanor, Helston, Hereford, Horsham, Hythe, Isles of Scilly, Keighley, Kingston, Leicester Charles St, Leicester City, Leicester New Walk, Leicester Wellington St, Leominster, Llandudno, Longton, Marylebone, Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Sussex, Newton Aycliffe, Newport Isle of Wight, Oadby & Wigston, Penryn, Penzance, Peterhead, Perth, Porthcawl, Redbridge, Redruth, Romford, Ross on Wye, Skegness, Spennymoor, Twickenham

In Northern Ireland: Corporation Street, Falls, Andersontown, Shaftesbury Square, Lisburn and Larne.

July 2018

In England, Scotland,Wales: Abertillery, Andover, Barnstaple, Beverley, Bideford, Billingham, Bognor, Bridlington, Bromley, Bury, Canning Town, Canterbury, Canvey, Carlisle, Cheetham Hill, Chichester, Chorley, Clacton, Colchester, Coventry Cofa Court, Dartford, Dartford, Derby City, Dinnington, Ebbw Vale, Forest Hill, Goole, Harrow, Harwich, Hessle, Honiton, Houghton le Spring, Leyland, Littlehampton, Loughborough, Maltby, Penrith, Preston, Prestwich, Rayleigh, Rotherham, Southwick, Spalding, St Helens, Staveley, Stockton, Stratford, Sunderland, Thornaby, Tiverton, Walsall Bayard House, Walsall Bridle Court, Washington, Winchester, Worthing, Worthing, Wythenshawe.

In Northern Ireland: Carrickfergus, Antrim and Ballymena.

August 2018

In England, Scotland, Wales: N/A

In Northern Ireland: Cookstown, Ballynahinch and Newcastle.

September 2018

In England, Scotland, Wales: Atherstone, Aylesbury, Bargoed, Barrhead, Belle Vale, Blackwood, Boston, Brixham, Bromsgrove, Buxton, Caerphilly, Campbeltown, Chesham, Cosham, Dunoon, Eccles, Ely, Exeter, Exeter, Gainsborough, Garston, Glossop, Glossop, Govan, Haverfordwest, Helensborough, High Wycombe, Horfield, Irlam, Johnstone, Kendal, Kirkwall, Laurieston, Lerwick, Lewes, Louth, Lymington, Malvern, Mansfield, Matlock, Milford Haven, Newhaven, Newlands, Newton Abbot, Oban, Paisley, Pembroke Dock, Portsmouth, Renfrew, Ringwood, Rothesay, Salford, Shirehampton, Stornoway, Thetford, Torquay, Totnes, Wandsworth, Wisbech, Worsley.

October 2018

In England, Scotland, Wales: Aberdeen, Aldershot, Alton, Barry, Bexleyheath, Bordon, Brecon, Brownhills, Bulwell, Cambridge, Cromer, Epsom, Farnborough, Felixstowe, Guildford, Guisley, Hackney, Hayes, Hertford, Hoxton, Huntingdon, Kettering, Kingswood, Leamington Spa, Leeds Park Place, Leeds Southern House, Leiston, Letchworth, Llandrindod Wells, Luton, Machynlleth, Middlesbrough, Middlesbrough East, Morley, Newtown, Norwich, Norwich, Nottingham Central, Nottingham Loxley House, Partick, Penarth, Pudsey, Redhill, Redhill, Ryde, Seacroft, Springburn, Stevenage, Tottenham, ( All police leave already cancelled ! ),Uxbridge, Uxbridge, Welshpool, Willenhall, Woking, Wood Green, Woodbridge, Woolwich, Worcester, Yate, Ystradgynlais.

November 2018

In England, Scotland, Wales: Aberdare, Arnold, Ashfield, Ashington, Beeston, Berwick, Biggleswade, Bolton Blackhorse St, Bolton Great Moor St, Burton, Camberley, Cannock, Castleford, Chapeltown, Clitheroe, Clydebank, Cramlington, Dumbarton, Edinburgh High Rigg, Edinburgh Wester Hailes, Eston, Evesham, Fareham, Gosport, Guisborough, Harlesden, Havant, Hemsworth, Kidderminster, Kings Lynn, Leighton Buzzard, Leith, Llantrisant, Loftus, Maidstone, Morpeth, Nelson, Northampton, Oldbury, Pontefract, Pontypridd, Porth, Rawtenstall, Redcar, Sheffield Bailey Court, Sheffield Cavendish Court, Shirebrook, Sleaford, Smethwick, Stafford, Staines, Staines, Staines, Stockport, Swadlincote, Telford, Tipton, Tonbridge, Tonypandy, Toxteth, Treorchy, Wakefield, Wellingborough, West Bromwich, Weybridge, Weybridge, Weybridge, Williamson Square.

December 2018

In England, Scotland, Wales: Aberystwyth, Alnwick, Amlwch, Ammanford, Bangor, Barrow, Bedlington, Blackpool, Blyth, Borehamwood, Caernarfon, Cardigan, Carmarthen, Castlemilk, Chelmsford, Dolgellau, Drumchapel, Everton, Fakenham, Fleetwood, Hemel Hempstead, Hexham, Holyhead, Hull Britannia House, Kentish Town, Kidsgrove, Llanelli, Llangefni, Loughton, Mildenhall, Milton Keynes, Newcastle Under Lyme, Newmarket, North Kensington, North Walsham, Porthmadog, Pwllheli, Sheffield Hillsborough, Sheffield Woodhouse, Shettleston, St Annes, Wembley, West Derby.

Hi Chris ,i might give it a try ,love the cartoon ,watch it disappear :D .
More the mines facing the self employed :

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... d-startups

Universal credit rules risk 'crushing' self-employed and startups.

Committee of MPs says benefit ‘designed with little regard’ for sixth of UK workforce.

Fledgling businesses and self-employed workers with fluctuating incomes risk being “crushed” by unrealistic rules imposed by universal credit, a cross-party group of MPs has warned.

They say entrepreneurs who fail to meet an arbitrary “minimum income” level from their business after just one year will be stripped of benefits support and, in some cases, will be forced to give up their enterprise and find other work.

In addition, people whose income changes from month to month because they work in seasonal occupations such as farming or tourism could miss out on thousands of pounds because of the way their universal credit is calculated.

The MPs on the Commons work and pensions committee said universal credit was “designed with little regard for the reality of self-employed work”, and that most new businesses will need longer than a year to become viable.

Frank Field, the Labour chair of the committee, said: “Universal credit was not designed with self-employment in mind and it shows. Its current setup for people starting and running their own business risks crushing potentially viable, productive enterprises.”

About 5 million people, or a sixth of the UK workforce, are self-employed, the report said, playing a crucial role in bolstering the UK economy.

Although MPs accept that earnings rules, known as the minimum income floor, are necessary to prevent the taxpayer effectively subsidising unviable businesses on an indefinite basis, they say the present arrangements are not flexible enough.

Self-employed people are currently allowed a one-year “start up period” under universal credit to get a business up and running, but MPs say this period should be extended to three.

The minimum income floor requires claimants who have been self-employed for a year, or more earn the equivalent of at least 35 hours at the national minimum wage each month. If they earn less than this, their universal credit payment will not make up the difference. However, if their monthly earnings exceed this level, their benefit payment is reduced accordingly.

Analysis published last month by Citizens Advice found self-employed workers whose earnings fluctuate monthly could receive hundreds of pounds less in universal credit over the course of a year than employees in “traditional” jobs who earn the same amount paid in a regular monthly salary.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “We recognise the important role of entrepreneurs in boosting the economy, however it’s unsustainable for universal credit to prop up unviable businesses that may not be working. Universal credit strikes the right balance between helping new businesses and being fair to the taxpayer by supporting self-employed people during the first year while they establish their business.

“After the initial year, gainfully self-employed people are treated as if they are earning the minimum wage. If they are not and they want to maintain the same level of income, they will be expected to increase their earnings rather than relying on their UC payment.”

Mike Cherry, the chairman of the Federation of Small Business, said: “The minimum income floor is bad for entrepreneurialism, pure and simple. We know that it generally takes two to three years to get a viable firm off the ground. The universal credit system fails to recognise that fact and, in doing so, threatens the futures of successful firms.”

So much for anyone thinking of chancing their arm in starting up a new business ???

How many more mines need to be mapped ???
266 posts