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

All about money
227 posts
I should hold off the Field worship ,he was the one who started the welfare reform ball rolling under that git blair..
I do wish steam rollers didn't have such a bad reputation, mine was built in 1921 and is usually very well behaved!
Frank Field ?

From CarerWatch days ... commissioned by the then leadership to look into the benefits system ... very unhappy with what became of his initial ideas under the last Labour Government.

Did provide some background for us on a couple of issues ... show a willingness to work with small groups which was extremely rare in carer circles at that time ... virtually impossible to find such an mp in the House some 10 years on.

On two occasions , I was in direct contact with him ( CarerWatch ) following our " Invasion " of Compass , and the infamous carer related thread posted by another labour mp at the time , John Battle ... guarded as one might expect ... the really good old days when we were making progress outside of CarerLand.

Throwing carers into the mix on Compass was a masterful stroke at that time ... part of a bigger picture ... if only to cement future policy between the various factions ... a time when many had hope ... then came 2009.

If nothing else , the one and only time carers matters have been debated by real carers with politicians ... even John McDonnell , now Shadow Chancellor , made a brief appearance ... and sent me a brief apology from his mobile phone for not mentioning carers in a recent newspaper article.

Different times ... probably never to be repeated in my remaining years ... nor the generation that follows ... carers are firmly back in their cage.

Hansard ( 2008 - 2010 ) ... search will reveal some of Frank's concerns as made public in House debates around the benefits issue.

A scheme like UC was inevitable ... simple in nature ... then the politicians got at it , turning it into a money saving machine with catches built in to ultimately reduce certain levels of benefit.
Snippet from yesterday's budget ... this morning's Guardian.

( Also posted under the Budget thread ) :

But the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group said that universal credit recipients would barely notice the benefit.

“For many, this is a welcome announcement as it will mean they have more cash in their pockets, however it does little to help those on the lowest incomes.”

It said that under the tax credits system, claimants would see the full benefit of the increase in the personal allowance.

“However, those with incomes above £11,500 who are receiving universal credit will most likely see a reduction in their benefit.

Instead of gaining £70 a year from the increased personal allowance, they will only gain overall by £25.90 as their universal credit will be reduced by £44.10.

In other words, they only gain 37% of the benefit of any increase in the personal allowance.


Headline news is one thing , the traditional " Devil in the detail " another.

Still £ 25.70 a year increase ... musn't grumble ... musn't they ?


Higher rate taxpayers will be £340 a year better off after budget changes to income tax, but lower earners will gain just £70 and those on universal credit just 50p a week, as the chancellor rejected accusations that the well-off do not pay enough tax.


Grumble away ... the gap between the rich and poor just got wider ....

Higher rate taxpayers will be £340 a year better off after budget changes to income tax,


Equates to an increase of around 10.5% in CA ... or the actual increase in CA over the past 5 years.

Smiles all round at CUK hq ... no chance of ever meeting Mr. UC ?
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO ALL READERS ... AND TO THOSE ON MANORS AWAITING THE ROLLOUT !


FULL MARKS TO TOM AND THE CARERS RADIO TEAM.

http://www.carersworldradio.com/


59 minutes on the impact of the UC rollout.

30 minutes in ... BTL landlord problems ... glossed over ?

ONE MAJOR OMISSION !

Nothing on the refusal to renew leases for benefit claimants.

Tom ... read this thread !

NOTE TO MINISTER ... carers trapped through amount that can be earned before CA falls off a cliff !

" MAXIMISE THEIR POTENTIAL " ... ?

REPEAL THE 21 HOUR RULE WOULD BE A GOOD STARTER FOR TEN !!!


A video ... makes a welcomed change after word after word ?

Well worth the time for any reader !

SOME OF IT YOU COULDN'T MAKE UP ... EVEN IN YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE !

ASSUMES VIRTUALLY ALL HAVE INTERNET ACCESS .... THE MIND BOGGLES ???

50 MANORS A MONTH ... 250,000+ FRESH VICTIMS EACH MONTH ... OVER THE NEXT 12-18 MONTHS.

PERHAPS WOULD BE PUSHED TO THE FRONT IF THOSE INSIDE CARERS UK WERE ON UC THEMSELVES ?

A FRONTAL ASSAULT ON CARERS , MAINLY THROUGH THEIR CAREES !


Happy New Year ... from the DWP !
This one will come as no great surprise ?


https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... n-says-mp.


Universal credit helpline closure could hit poorest over Xmas, says MP,

Labour’s Frank Field says ‘chaos’ could leave some without money for food, lighting and heating,


Some universal credit claimants are at risk of destitution over Christmas because a vital helpline will only be fully operational for two out of 10 days over the holiday, an MP has warned.

Labour MP Frank Field, chair of the Commons work and pensions committee, has urged the government to keep the universal credit helpline open during the Christmas break for claimants at risk of spending the festive season without money.

From 23 December to 1 January, job centre offices and the Universal Credit helpline are only fully operational on 28 and 29 December in England, Wales and Scotland. The helpline will open on 27 December in Scotland to to deal with payment enquiries from claimants from all nations.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it was normal for services to close at the weekend and during bank holidays, and said millions of universal credit payments would be brought forward in time for the Christmas break.

In a letter to Theresa May, Field wrote: “Any of my constituents making a claim for universal credit this week are due, if the system works as planned, to receive their first payment a few days either side of Christmas. However, if a problem arrises or an error is made during the process of their claim, that money will not arrive and my constituents will be without an income over Christmas. For my poorest constituents this could trigger a period without food, heat or light.”

“Usually it is the universal credit helpline that provides a vital layer of protection to those claimants who are without money and wish to enquire about the status of their claim so it can be resolved and money paid,” it continued.

“The thought of the chaos this will cause to the lives of some of my poorest constituents, and those across the country, is a hugely troubling one,” the letter read.

The universal credit system combines six benefits into one online-only system, aiming to simplify the benefits system and increase incentives for people to work.

The new system has suffered from problems with delays and implementation, pushing some claimants into rent arrears, food bank use and mental distress.

A DWP spokesperson said: “Just like organisations across the country, our offices are closed on public holidays but every year we bring forward over 20m payments worth more than £4bn to benefit claimants.

“Phone lines are open on 27 December to help people with any urgent payment-related enquiries, and open as usual every other day around the Christmas period.”


Not unexpected but ... ?

Even at this early stage , worth checking with the local food bank when they are open over the so called festive season.

In most , facility to top up a prepayment meter ... virtually as vital as food given the shutdown.

Even home delivery of a food bank parcel now available in a few !

Some will still be open on all days but , I suspect , they will be the exception ?

Somewhat ironic ... most carers needing this information do not have Internet access !!!!!!

And yet , Internet access is vital for some aspects of UC !!!!!


As for our own Advice Line , assuming UC hotline is unavailable ... ???
Interesting ... a revised schedule for the UC rollout ... a pause ... I wonder why ?


https://www.themj.co.uk/Revised-timetab ... out/209619


'Revised timetable' for Universal Credit rollout.

The Government has caved into pressure and changed the timetable for the rollout of Universal Credit (UC), The MJ has learnt.


It comes after weeks of pressure for work and pensions secretary David Gauke to pause the rollout of the controversial UC regime amid evidence that thousands of social housing tenants are falling into significant rent arrears, recipients are failing to pay their council tax bills using UC cash and councils are incurring significant new administrative costs.

Mr Gauke had claimed a pause in the rollout would delay progress in providing help to a large number of citizens.

However, on Thursday (November 23), the director general of the UC programme, Neil Couling, informed council chief executives about a 'revised timetable' for the rollout.

In a letter, seen by The MJ, Mr Couling wrote: 'For three months from February we will expand the UC full service at a revised rate of 10 jobcentres a month, then 41 in May and then to around 60 a month thereafter, with a break for August, as normal, before completing the national coverage by the end of December 2018.'

The letter came a day after a £1.5bn support package was announced in the Budget to help address concerns raised about the delivery of UC.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said claimants would no longer have to wait seven days before they are entitled to a payment, and housing benefit would continue to be paid two weeks after a UC claim.

Mr Hammond said: ‘Universal Credit delivers a modern welfare system, where work always pays and people are supported to earn.

‘But I recognise the genuine concerns on both sides of the House about the operational delivery of this benefit.

'Today we will act on those concerns.’

Changes will also be made to the advance system so that households can access a month’s payment within five days of applying.

The repayment period for this will be extended from six to 12 months.

Mr Hammond added: ‘This is a £1.5bn package to address concerns about the delivery of the benefit.’

Last month, the Resolution Foundation warned that the current design of UC is ‘not fit for purpose’ and is failing those in need.

It found that only one-in-seven working-age families reliant on UC have savings worth more than a month’s income.


Well , the invasion is coming ... just delayed on many manors ?

Interesting ... diarise forward to monitor impact as so reported.
Very interesting ... Child Commissioner ( Scotloand ) ... possyble legal action over the UC rollout :


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-s ... s-42208424

Children's commissioner may consider legal action over Universal Credit.
Scotland's children's commissioner has said he may consider legal action over the Universal Credit rollout if it further disadvantages young people.

Bruce Adamson said poverty was the biggest human rights issue facing children in Scotland.

He told the BBC reforms to the benefits systems could be resulting in some children going without basics like a warm home and hot meals.

The UK government said Universal Credit was helping people improve their lives.

A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said the system was "working" and that as a result of Universal Credit people were "moving into work faster and staying in work longer than under the old system".

The controversial measure, which is being rolled out across the UK, brings six existing benefit payments into one.

It faced criticism over claims some people had to wait six weeks for their first payment, contributing to a rise in debt, rent arrears and evictions.

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced changes aimed at speeding up claim times in his autumn budget last month.

Mr Adamson said he was engaging with ministers, from the both the UK and Scottish governments, about the impact the benefit changes were having on the human rights of children and young people.

He called for "political leadership" on the issue, but said he could not rule of the possibility of legal action in the future.

"Basics of life"

In an extended interview due to be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland on Sunday, the children's commissioner said: "Poverty is the biggest human rights issue facing children in Scotland at the moment.

"And there's a number of issues around the way in which Universal Credit is calculated and how it is paid. But this leads to a much, much deeper issue. We are talking about the rights of children and the right to benefit from social security.

"We are talking about things like having a warm and secure place to live, having regular hot, nutritious meals and also the ability to access things like transport to get to school and to enjoy social and cultural activities that we know are so important to their development."

Asked if there was any prospect of legal redress in Scotland, Mr Adamson said: "While we don't have the Convention on the Rights of the Child within our domestic law yet, we do have the Humans Rights Act which brings in the European Convention on Human Rights and the courts look very closely if a state falls below that minimum standard required, where the state fails to provide those basics of life.

"So certainly if children in Scotland aren't getting those basic things then legal action may be the way to take this forward. But it's not the best way."

He added: "We really need political leadership here and we need to make sure that we are never in a situation where children are going without the basics that they need."

The DWP spokesman said no-one who needed support had to wait six weeks.

He added: "In December, claimants can request an advance of up to 50% of their first payment and a further 50% in January if they need it, repayable over 12 months.

"Universal Credit lies at the heart of our commitment to help people improve their lives and raise their incomes. It provides additional, tailored support to help people move into work and stop claiming benefits altogether."

On Saturday, a day of action, organised by the Unite union, saw demonstrations staged at various locations around Scotland protesting against changes to the benefits system.


Children sucked in through their parents ... carers sucked in through their carees.

I wonder if a challenge , of sorts , will be mounted by the Diabilities Rights Commission along similar lines ?


A little too much to expect our own supporting organisations to take an interest ?

One more to keep a close eye on.
Interesting ... a political angle ?

Today's Mourning Star ... over to the comrades still left from their own dustbin of history :

https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-8 ... -backyards

Top Tory MPs delay universal credit in their own backyards.

One law for senior Conservatives, another for the rest of us, storms Labour MP


TOP Tories are “putting off” the disastrous consequences of universal credit by quietly delaying it in their own constituencies, Labour has warned.

Prime Minister Theresa May, Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke and former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith have excluded its roll-out in their seats for at least three months as part of changes quietly brought in following last week’s Budget, Labour MP Stephanie Peacock revealed.

The delay will cover most of Maidenhead, Ashford, South West Hertfordshire and Chingford, and Woodford Green.

Only the generally pro-Labour area of South Oxhey, a working class area in David Gauke’s constituency, will have universal credit (UC) imposed on time.

The London Borough of Waltham Forest, which serves Labour seats rather than Iain Duncan Smith’s seat, will also implement UC earlier.

The decision follows a government defeat in the Commons, where MPs unanimously voted for Labour’s motion to “pause and fix” the policy which is causing debt, poverty and increasing the threat of homelessness right before Christmas.

Elsewhere, UC will be rolled out between now and December 2018, without further parliamentary votes, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) documents show.

Ms Peacock, MP for Barnsley East, said: “Even while claiming everything is fine with the universal credit, top Tories have quietly delayed it in their own constituencies. It’s one law for them, another for the rest of us.

“The very people who dreamt up the whole idea and then made such a mess of it are now putting off the consequences in their own seats.

“If they want to pause and fix universal credit for themselves, they should do it across the whole country.”

Scotland’s children’s commissioner Bruce Adamson has said he may consider taking legal action over the universal credit roll-out if it further disadvantages young people.

He called for political leadership on the issue, warning that social welfare reforms could leave some children without a warm secure home and hot meals.

Mr Adamson said: “If children in Scotland aren’t getting those basic things then legal action may be the way to take this forward. But it’s not the best way.”

Citing the Human Rights Act, he said courts could look at whether the state fails to provide such basics.

“Poverty is the biggest human rights issue facing children in Scotland at the moment,” he said.


Nothing like a little bit of political maneavouring to throw into the mix ?

On the food bank front , one in each of the named manors.

I wonder if the locals have added a sign :

SPONSORED BY THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY ... ?

Image
Today's Independent .... a case of " Come out , come out , wherever you are ! " :


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/po ... 91821.html


Labour to force Government to publish its own assessments of Universal Credit

Benefits scheme has been criticised for driving debt, arrears and evictions.


The Labour Party will seek to force the Government to publish its own reports into the rollout of its Universal Credit, in a move that could embarrass the Government further over its flagship benefits scheme.

In a debate in the House of Commons, in which the Conservatives are expected to abstain, the party will use the same arcane parliamentary procedure as it used several weeks ago to compel the Government to publish its Brexit impact assessments.

The reports, known as ‘Project Assessment Reviews’, are detailed assessments of the implementation of Universal Credit, which has come under criticism for driving debt, arrears and even evictions.

The independent Information Commissioner, has determined that five of the reports, drafted between 2012 – 2015, are in the public interest and called on the Government to release them. So far it has not done so.

Debbie Abrahams MP, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “These reports could further expose the implementation flaws, design failures and the impacts of major cuts to Universal Credit, which is pushing people into poverty, debt and arrears. Labour has long called for a pause and fix of this programme, but the Chancellor failed to act in the Budget, meaning thousands of families will face a miserable Christmas.

“The Government should have abided by the Information Commissioner and released five of these reports into the public domain. Having already ignored Parliament’s unanimous approval of Labour’s motion to pause Universal Credit, the Government is now once again riding roughshod over the democratic process.

“Labour is calling for the release of this catalogue of failures on Universal Credit, to ensure that the lessons are learned from this Government’s mismanagement.

“Labour is committed to transforming Universal Credit, so that it meets its original ambitions of simplifying social security, reducing child poverty and making work pay.”


Fair enough ... reports / post mortems exist ... publish them !

What's there to hide ?

The evidence is all too plain to see.
227 posts