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UNIVERSAL CREDIT ( UC ) : Rollout Schedule * Mines * Sanctions * Changes * Delays * Reports From Infected Manors - Page 17 - Carers UK Forum

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

All about money
266 posts
Universal credit could be " Disastrous "for disabled people, MPs warn in new report.

Government accused of making " Serious error " as thousands of disabled claimants set to miss out on " Vital support " under new welfare system.

( Oh really ? Hasn't the UC steamroller ALREADY flattened many manors ???? )

Universal credit could spell “disastrous” consequences for disabled people as thousands are set to lose out on “vital additional support” under the flagship welfare reform, MPs have warned.

A report by the Work and Pensions Committee accuses the government of making a “serious error” in removing disability premiums – which are worth up to £64 per week for a single person – under universal credit.

The MPs said removing this support, which usually covers essential living and care costs, risked pushing disabled people into more isolated lives, relying on unpaid care – including from their own, dependent children – or being unable to complete certain basic daily tasks.

The report also warns that while some families with severely disabled children will receive more under universal credit, this increase would come at a “substantial price” for families with a “less disabled” child – leaving 100,000 households worse off once the reform is fully rolled out.

Labour MP Frank Field, chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said the government’s plans would see “very” disabled people getting the extra help they need “at the cost of other disabled people”.

He continued: “We have already seen the terrible cost of the department’s failure to find out what is happening to the most vulnerable claimants in the transition to universal credit.

“People receiving the disability premiums are already, by definition, managing in some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable in our society, and this includes disabled children, and children forced to care for a disabled parent.

“It would be a terrible betrayal of these people to allow another failure of planning in this mega reform to worsen their situations, even one bit.

“No one should ever be forced further into poverty, deprivation, miserable hardship by a policy reform. The government must assure disabled people across this country that will not happen to them, and plan and put the measures in place to make that promise good.”

The warnings come after Citizens Advice said the new benefit system was “penalising” single disabled people due to flaws in its design, leaving them worse off compared to the previous structure as they face a “significant drop” in financial support when they move onto the new system.

The High Court ruled in a landmark judgment in June that the universal credit roll-out was unlawfully discriminating against people with disabilities by taking “essential benefits” from disabled claimants.

Minesh Patel, policy manager at disability equality charity Scope, said the report was “yet another wake-up call that there are serious issues with universal credit”.

She added: “The clock is ticking. If the universal credit ‘managed migration’ goes ahead without significant changes, many disabled people’s finances will fall off a cliff edge.

“Whilst the government has said that claimants will be no worse off under universal credit, the move to the benefit will see lots of disabled people lose their disability premiums and be almost £200 worse off a month. It’s imperative an equivalent of these premiums is created.”

A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesperson said: “More than a million disabled people will be better off by £100 a month under universal credit and £3bn of funding will help protect families as they move over from the old system.

“Universal credit does work for the vast majority, and the managed migration regulations are set to be debated in parliament in due course.”
Amber Rudd says people should take zero-hour contracts to avoid having benefits cut.

Had to smile.

Under UC . anyone earning irregular income is in for a rollacoaster of a ride ... previous postings on this very point.

In short , UC was NOT designed to deal with anything other than a regular income !!!
Get in debt or turn down job ?

Universal Credit's " Stark choice. "

The Universal Credit system leaves too many UK claimants with children facing a stark choice between turning down jobs or getting into debt, MPs warn.

The Work and Pensions Select Committee says the way parents have to pay for childcare up front, then claim it back afterwards is a "barrier to work".

Committee chairman Frank Field said it was "irresponsible" to put this burden on "struggling, striving parents".

The government said childcare support is more generous under the new system.

But the committee's report on the childcare aspect of Universal Credit is further criticism of the already much-criticised benefit.

The welfare payment, which collapsed six benefits into one monthly payment, is being phased in across the UK.

The report said: "Parents and carers' decisions about whether and how much to work are closely tied to being able to access affordable, good quality childcare.

"The Department for Work and Pensions aspires for 200,000 more people to work under Universal Credit than under the system it replaces, and for people already in work to contribute over 100 million additional hours every year.

"Its success or failure in achieving these aims depends largely on working parents. That means that making childcare payments work is critical to the success of Universal Credit."

But it claims the design of Universal Credit childcare support directly conflicts with the aim of making it easier for claimants to work, or to work more hours.

" Precarious "

"Universal Credit claimants must pay for childcare up front and claim reimbursement from the department after the childcare has been provided," the report says.

"This can leave households waiting weeks or even months to be paid back.

"Many of those households will be in precarious financial positions which Universal Credit could exacerbate: if, for example, they have fallen into debt or rent arrears while awaiting Universal Credit payments.

"Too many will face a stark choice: turn down a job offer, or get themselves into debt in order to pay for childcare."

The system of reimbursement was adopted to cut down on fraud and error, and the government says switching to a system of direct payments to childcare providers would require changes to the benefits payment system.

The committee wants direct payments to be adopted, but in the meantime more should be done to help claimants with up-front costs, it says.

Mr Field said: "If the government had set out to design a system to make it harder for parents to get into work, it could hardly have done better than this one.

"It's not just driving parents into despair and debt and creating problems for childcare providers - it's also actively working to prevent the government achieving its own aim of getting more people into work."

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "Working parents can claim back up to 85% of eligible costs, compared to 70% on the old system.

"Universal Credit is a force for good for many, and people are getting into work faster and staying in work longer.

"Recent Budget changes also mean an extra £2bn will be directed to the poorest families."
Ground zero ... Redcar / Cleveland ... and the locals are stirring ...finally ?
DWP : Teessiders will take to the streets against " Callous approach " of Universal Credit rollout.

A march and rally will be held this weekend - Redcar and Cleveland Council is particularly worried about timing of benefit reform.

Teessiders will take to the streets to protest against Universal Credit this weekend.

On Saturday, demonstrators will assemble in Guisborough for a march against the benefit reform, which has just been rolled out across Redcar and Cleveland.

Everyone who now makes a new claim for what were formerly six benefits will instead have to apply for Universal Credit.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), which has organised the demonstration, says Universal Credit is "causing real poverty and hardship in our communities".

"There is a huge body of evidence which points to a failing and flawed social security system which is driving hard-pressed families into debt," the TUC said in a statement.

Redcar and Cleveland Council wrote three separate letters in October asking for a delay in the benefit's rollout until after Christmas, following concerns that the new monthly payment schedule under Universal Credit - and the five week wait for a first payment - would leave families penniless over the holidays.

Redcar MP Anna Turley expressed similar concerns, and has called for the roll-out to be stopped until flaws in the system are corrected.

The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest food bank network, reports that on average, there is a 52% increase in the use of foodbanks when UC goes live in an area.

The TUC said that local charity Footsteps in the Community has also seen a marked increase in the use of food banks, and families in Teesside consistently suffer from lower average wages and higher levels of child poverty.

The union claimed that the Conservatives "are in denial about the hardship Universal Credit will cause in our area".

A similar protest, organised by Unite the Union, was held in Redcar last weekend.

Ms Turley said: "Universal Credit is going to be devastating for people in our area and low income families are going to see the support they receive slashed.

"Rather than making work pay, as the government claim it will do, the new system will leave vulnerable people reliant on food banks and forced into personal debt.

"This rally is vital as we all have to keep working together to make the government halt this policy roll-out and to support those who are harmed by it."

Cllr Sue Jeffrey, leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council, said: "I am dismayed at the callous approach being taken by this Government.

"We know that there is likely to be difficulties for many people who are forced to move onto Universal Credit in the month before Christmas.

"The Council has put arrangements in place to provide emergency support if needed, but we should not be in this position – Government needs to have an urgent re think of the whole system."

Lauren Dingsdale is Labour’s candidate for the Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland seat, currently held by Conservative Simon Clarke.

Criticising the Tory MP for "not uttering a single word of objection", she said: "The botched roll-out of Universal Credit has placed thousands of working people across the country into poverty and into debt."

Teesside Live has contacted Simon Clarke's office for comment.

Redcar ?

Featured in another thread ... BLIGHTED AREAS thread :

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-and ... rimethorpe
Universal credit extension delayed over fears new benefit is pushing people into poverty and homelessness.

Instead of 3 million people transferring to the new system, MPs will be asked to approve a trial scheme switching just 10,000.

Universal credit : Vote to extend benefit to three million delayed

The next stage of the universal credit rollout is to be scaled back amid concerns about the controversial new benefits system.

MPs were due to vote on whether to move three million benefit claimants onto universal credit in the next few weeks.

But this vote has been pushed back and Parliament will instead be asked to vote on transferring just 10,000 people to the new benefits system.

Ministers say all claimants will be on universal credit by 2023 as planned.

But the rollout has run over budget, is years behind schedule and has been criticised for making an estimated 3.2 million households worse off.

Some people already claiming universal credit say it has forced them into destitution and in some cases prostitution. Others say they have been left to rely on foodbanks.

Frank Field, chairman of the work and pensions select committee, which has raised a series of concerns about universal credit, said: “The government seems finally to have woken up to the human catastrophe that was waiting to happen under its ill-formed plans for moving people on to universal credit.”

Analogy ?

1918 ... World War One ... you are in the trenches , only a tin hat and a rifle , low on ammunition.

Look across no man's land as see the first tanks gathering for an attack ... only waiting for more fuel supplies.

You know the attack will be coming ... nothing to fight back with ... just a question of when.

All you can smell is the stench of the dead bodies from the last attack ... still awaiting burial.

And , once those tanks arrive , the survivors will have to wait weeks for fresh supplies from hq ... unless ,of course , they can scavenge from the dead in the interim.


Worksop ... 13 months into UC ... will the Government send a taskforce to repair the damage already done ???

We've been waiting 20+ years for repair works since their stormtroopers devastated the community during the miners' strike more than 30 years ago ... the whole community considered to be " Miners " ... even the children !
For those readers that enjoy the tabloids , one article in today's Sun ... just the URL and headline as I don't want to offend any readers from the Merseyside area ... a little show of solidarity ?

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/8117056/ ... al-credit/

" I'VE FAILED " I fed my disabled son, 20, leftover baby food after we ran out of cash due to Universal Credit.

Single mum Ruth Dalton, 52, from Kent was left without any cash when she moved on to Universal Credit after a five week wait for her first payment.

Yep , the sun still doesn't shine over Merseyside ... since Hillsborough ?
The misery, despair and pain of universal credit.

Readers offer their views on – and personal first-hand testimony of – the government’s troubled benefits system.

Ray Taylor (Need to sign on? You’ll have to walk 24 miles to the jobcentre, 7 January) is just one of many victims of universal credit (UC). Recently there has been a lot of talk and discussion of the problems with the roll-out of UC. However, the basic problem is not about the way the roll-out has been mishandled but about the underlying values and the ethos shaping the design of UC.

As Professor Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said in his November report on poverty in UK, “In the area of poverty-related policy, the evidence points to the conclusion that the driving force has not been economic but rather a commitment to achieving radical social re-engineering … to pursue a single-minded … focus on getting people into employment at all costs … and wanting to make clear that being on benefits should involve hardship”.

It is claimed that the great virtue of UC is that it simplifies the system. Even this is not true as it only deals with the six most easily understood benefits (in fact three, as the other three are really variations on jobseeker’s allowance) and not with the multiplicity of other benefits which have grown up to fix one or other of the benefit problems. The combining into UC of these three benefits, all under the control of separate agencies, enables the jobcentre staff to remove jobseeker’s support, housing benefit and child tax credit all at once so that families are destitute and liable to lose their homes. Pre-UC this could not happen as jobcentre staff only had control of jobseeker’s allowance. Hence the rapporteur’s reference to social re-engineering. The only solution to the problems of universal credit is to get rid of it.

Michael McLoughlin
Wallington, Surrey

• In rural areas of Scotland visits are made by Post Office and bank buses. Why can’t the Department for Work and Pensions provide a similar system, since it was they who closed all the jobcentres. On the issue of bus services and fares, I am sure it would not cost too much to offer everyone a bus pass and improve services. There are many people who would never use a bus, but it could be a lifeline for so many people and communities. Hopefully Louise Tickle’s article will help Ray Taylor to secure employment nearer to his home.

Margaret Vandecasteele
Wick, Caithness

• I have just gone through the ordeal that the government say is an easy transition to the new universal credit. The past five weeks have been one of the most stressful periods of my life, just like every time the government decides it want to crucify the most vulnerable of the country.

On Monday my universal credit was awarded, leaving me £93.58 per four weeks worse off compared with the employment and support allowance and housing benefit that I had. This now means a choice of food, heat or transportation. If I have to sell my car this will leave me housebound. I already had to budget just £20 per week for food (before the reduction in my benefits). As for heating, I could only afford to put the heating on when my flat is below 10C, and only raising it to 12C.

I am disabled, with mechanical scoliosis from an accident, meaning I walk with crutches indoors and use a wheelchair all other times. I also have Raynaud’s, which means my circulation is severely restricted to my extremities. I suffer from deep depression with high anxiety. I can now see why other people have been driven to suicide by the government taking more and more away from the most vulnerable of this country.

Name and address supplied

• I wonder if Amber Rudd saw Les Misérables on BBC One on Sunday, where Fantine was forced to sell her hair, teeth and, inevitably, herself. The day before on BBC Two, the title character of I, Daniel Blake was dying in a DWP toilet after being forced to sell his belongings by the “welfare” system. My January universal credit payment was £346 as I’d earned £185 in November. My rent is £317. My (Labour) MP is silent.

Paul Burnett

• If any benefit system is to be fair, following the disaster of the universal credit illustrated by I, Daniel Blake, the following golden rule ought to apply: for the health and wellbeing of the lowest-income men, women and children to flourish, the minimum household income must be enough to buy a healthy diet, water, fuel, clothes, transport and other necessities after the rent, council and income taxes are paid.

In other words, if the definition of truly affordable housing is that rents shall be one-third of gross income, then the other two-thirds must be enough to cover the minimum quantities of the rest. Less than that and the income needed for food, fuel and the rest is demanded by by the landlord for rent on pain of eviction and or by the local authorities for council tax on pain of imprisonment. The minimum income standards (MIS) research needed by government was commissioned from the Family Budget Unit by the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust and published in 1998. MIS are now available from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation through the Living Wage Foundation. Achieving the good health and wellbeing of every UK citizen in or out of work must become a national priority.

Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty

• Re your article (Single mothers make up 85% of people with benefits capped, 4 January), we know that children particularly are suffering as a result of this policy. An article on 17 December described teachers’ warning that many pupils in England were hungry and badly clothed. I feel ashamed that this appalling situation exists in this country in the 21st-century and is getting worse.

My father died in 1962. My brother was 14 and I was 10. My mother always had two or three part-time jobs – paid on an hourly basis, with no perks or benefits such as pension contributions. We lived in rented accommodation. Every time she earned more than £15 a week, her widowed mother’s child allowance was reduced. It was a poverty trap.

Here we are more than 50 years later and people are still living in a poverty trap. Today, though, the wealth divide is wider than ever. The wealthy enjoy an elevated standard of living on the back of lower-paid people who underpin the infrastructure of society.

Something is seriously wrong with the system if children are going to school hungry. No policy, whatever the justification, is acceptable if it causes so much suffering.

Sarah Taylor
Two-child limit on universal credit to be partially rolled back.

Amber Rudd could create " Two classes of family " with new proposal, says SNP MP.

Amber Rudd will announce a partial rollback to the two-child limit on universal credit payments on Friday but faces claims that she could create “two classes of family” by scrapping it for some claimants but not others.

Labour also said that the partial reverse on the two-child limit for families claiming universal credit, to be announced by Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, did not go far enough.

In the speech in London, Rudd is expected to promise a more careful approach to the rollout of universal credit. A key announcement is scrapping the plan for universal credit payments to only be made for a family’s first two children, which was due to start next month. The wider two-child limit for benefits came into effect in 2017, as part of efforts to curb spending.

Opponents, led by the SNP MP Alison Thewliss, have condemned the limit, in particular the so-called rape clause, which decrees that mothers can gain exemptions to the limit if they are able to show a third child was born due to rape.

At the speech on Friday, at a job centre in south London, Rudd was to say the two-child limit for people on universal credit, and the new working-age integrated payment which replaces a series of existing benefits, would not happen, but only for children born before April 2017.

Rudd was to argue that it would be unfair to penalise parents who made financial decisions before the wider limit came into force, and it will still apply to children born later.

Thewliss said that while she was pleased the government “has finally agreed that the two-child policy is unjustifiable”, she warned against the dual approach.

“The risk with what the UK government [is] now proposing is that two classes of family emerge,” she said.

“Those born after the 6 April 2017 will still be subject to the pernicious rape clause, and forced to fight for exemptions to feed their kids. This will cause confusion and perpetuate unfairness. The two-child limit will still exist and still continue to push many families into poverty in the future.”

Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, Margaret Greenwood, said: “This partial U-turn does not go far enough. Labour has long called for the government to abandon the two-child limit in its entirety.”

Since taking on the role after Esther McVey resigned in November, Rudd has tried to take a more cautious approach to the extension of universal credit, which has prompted concern about confusion, and delayed payments pushing claimants into debt.

The government had been due to hold a vote on the so-called migration of universal credit – shifting existing benefits claimants onto the new system. But Rudd has announced that instead there will be a test of this process involving 10,000 people.

“This will begin, as planned, from July 2019 and the next six months will be a period of careful preparation,” she was to say in the speech.

“The lessons from the pilot will inform our next steps, but there will be no overall delay. Universal credit migration will be completed, as planned, by 2023. However I will consider carefully the results of the pilot, and its implications for scaling-up migration.”

A little more interesting.

The children ... the innocent victims in all of this !
the innocent victims in all of this !

Yes they are the victims of feckless adults who don't consider them when conceiving them! None of us has ANY right to more than two children per couple (ie, one each!), in this grossly overpopulated earth.

And expecting 'other people' (taxpayers) to pay for them is even more inexcusable!

That said....I agree it's unfair to RETROSPECTIVELY 'punish' folk for having more than two children when they did not realise that they would have to pay for the 'extra children' themselves. That just isn't fair.

So although yes, UC should only be paid for two children, that rule should be clearly publicised so that folk can make the decision to have 'extra' children knowing full well they will have to pay for them themselves, and not count on the state to pay for them.

It's always a problem of how to 'incentivise' people to behave responsibly (eg, not having children they can't afford!), and of course the current set up is to REWARD people for having 'more children' (each child is worth money to the parents!).

A way to help folk who find it difficult to behave responsibly on their own is to tie UC for the second child to contraceptive implants - while the mum is receiving contraception, she goes on getting UC paid to her. If she stops, and becomes pregnant again, then the UC stops too.

All of the above is subject to designing a UC system that allows for 'temporary poverty' due to illness/unemployment, or indeed, 'permanent' poverty due to lifelong illness (obesity excepted!)

But the basic problem - ie paying people to have children - is the one that has to be tackled.
Four single mothers win high court benefits battle against DWP.


When calculating universal credit, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) sets assessment periods for each person to look at how much they earn - from the 1st of the month to the end of the month, for example.

But lawyers for the mothers said a problem arises when claimants are paid by employers on a date which "clashes" with their assessment period.

For example, they pointed out that if a claimant is paid early because of a weekend or bank holiday, the system counts them as having been paid twice in one month and they receive a "vastly reduced" universal credit payment.


Four working single mothers have won a high court challenge over the government’s universal credit scheme.

Two judges in London announced on Friday that the women, who said they have been struggling financially because of the way the welfare system operates, had succeeded in a judicial review against the work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd.

The women argued that a “fundamental problem” with the scheme meant their monthly payments varied “enormously” and they had ended up out of pocket.

They challenged the method used by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) when calculating the amount payable under the 2013 universal credit regulations.

Lord Justice Singh and Mr Justice Lewis gave their ruling following a hearing in November, when they were told the women were struggling to manage their household budgets and some had fallen into debt or had to rely on food banks.
266 posts