Universal Credit fiasco hitting UK’s most vulnerable families hardest

Last October Southport MP Damien Moore warmly welcomed the controversial Universal Credit (UC) scheme that was rolled out across the country.

Mr Moore told Parliament that:

“I, for one, welcome the fact that UC is available in more than 100 Jobcentres across the country and laud the Government for reiterating their commitment to having it available in all Jobcentres from September 2018.”

However, the controversial scheme is coming under increasing fire, as an ill-considered and destructive farce, right across the country.

Save the Children charity warns that UC is a flawed scheme.

Save the Children say that childcare debt will rocket under UC, as claimant families are deprived of assistance to afford upfront nursery fees.

Unlike the previous benefits system, low-income families on UC will apparently not be able to claim money in advance for childcare bills, forcing them to pay the deposit. In some cases, this could be £1,000 before waiting a month to be reimbursed, according to new studies by Save the Children. The charity warns that this will force families into childcare debt or block them from going back to work unless the Government makes urgent changes.

Liverpool calls for a Universal Credit halt

The Labour-controlled Liverpool City Council voted solidly to call on Work and Pensions Secretary (DWP), Esther McVey, to suspend the roll-out of UC in the city. They say that if the DWP goes ahead with its plans, there will be a welfare catastrophe in the city.

Scrooge of the Year

Incidentally, Esther McVey has been in the firing line before over similar, welfare issues.



Above: Moore and McVey, previously seen canvassing for votes.

Liverpool’s Bishop, Paul Bayes, warned that a move away from addressing the need in the welfare system risks instilling the idea of the deserving and undeserving poor. He added that he has been nauseated by the impact that the UC scheme has had on society’s most vulnerable people.

Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson, is one of the many people calling for a period of consideration and a chance to repair Universal Credit.

Mayor Anderson indicated that there was a spike in destitution already being seen and a rise in council tax arrears from those who have already transitioned to UC. Also, increasing queues at food banks and families struggling with things like school uniform costs were mentioned.

About 55,000 Liverpool households will ultimately see their claim move to UC. Most of these households have already been affected by the benefits freeze that has been inflicted on society’s worst off without warning. Disabled people, the long-term sick, single parents and working families on low incomes are amongst those due to be hit the hardest by this insanely thought out Tory scheme.

Representatives from prominent mental health charity Mind and anti-poverty charity The Trussell Trust gave evidence to the Public Accounts Committee some months ago regarding the roll-out of UC.

Both charities had pleaded with the callous government regime to delay the roll-out of UC. This was after the National Audit Office (NAO) released a damning report highlighting how the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has not done enough to protect and support vulnerable claimants, including disabled people and people with serious health conditions.

Research by the Trussell Trust, Britain’s largest network of food banks, has shown use has risen by 52 per cent in the 12 months following Universal Credit being introduced, compared with just 13 per cent in places where the old benefits system is still in operation.

Preston’s Salvation Army food bank has issued an urgent appeal for food due to ‘extremely high demand’. The centre indicated that as the UC is being rolled out in Preston they are anticipating that big demand will remain the same through September. Consequently, they still urgently need donations to ensure they can continue to provide much-needed aid for the local community.

It is now evident that the well-paid officials in high places, who hatch up these madcap schemes, do not live in the real world. They have little knowledge or concern for the damage they do to the most vulnerable families in our society.

Families forced into debt due to Universal Credit cock-up

Due to the long delays in UC benefit payments coming in, many folks are being forced (through no fault of their own) into impossible debt. Will the autocratic idiots who created this fiasco help get the families, that they have forced into debt, get back on their feet?

Surely some form of compensation will be in order for people who have unfairly suffered via the UC crisis?

Nevertheless, Southport’s Tory MP Damien Moore previously claimed that Universal credit was “Simple and fair and will be effective for the whole country.”

Judging by the massive national revolt against this deeply – hated scheme, it has to be said that Mr Moore would possibly be unwise to shout about the merits of UC from a soapbox in any public place.

Will large-scale public protests soon be seen everywhere due to this regrettable crisis? Does anyone recall the anti-Thatcher Poll Tax riots?

Pat Regan ©