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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 June 2018

Universal Credit delivers claimant misery and will cost more than it saves

Claimants can wait six weeks to see any money at all, photo Dan Moyle (Creative Commons)

Claimants can wait six weeks to see any money at all, photo Dan Moyle (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Fight for liveable benefits, real support and decent jobs

Karen Seymour, Mansfield Socialist Party

The government's flagship welfare reform, Universal Credit, has been well and truly savaged by the National Audit Office. It says the 1.9 billion scheme is a disaster for claimants, and will end up costing far more than it saves!

Rolling six working-age benefits into one, Universal Credit was sold as a way of making the system fairer. Its real aims are to slash spending on welfare, and to 'punish' those seen as not doing enough to find employment.

Evidence is mounting that Universal Credit causes real hardship through delays to payments, cuts to support, evictions and an even more inhumane sanctions regime, which will now pressure part-time workers to find more hours!

The National Audit Office says the government is never likely to know whether its aim of getting 200,000 more people into work will be realised.

In my view, as a welfare rights adviser, Universal Credit is deliberately designed to wear people down. Depression cases will rise even further among claimants as they desperately try to free themselves from a system dubbed the 'lobster pot'.

One claimant told the BBC: "It drove me to depression as I had never needed anything like that in the past. I felt helpless and worthless. It would appear to me that Universal Credit is designed to be very difficult and give people as little as possible."

The National Audit Office thinks there have been too many changes to job centres and working practices for Universal Credit to be scrapped. Rubbish! Stop it immediately, and replace with a system of liveable benefits and proper support to find employment, without compulsion.

Labour must call for this instead of bemoaning how bad the system is. There must also be an end to the persecution and demonisation of welfare claimants, who are victims of a capitalist regime only interested in looking after the 1%.

The Socialist Party fights to replace Universal Credit with liveable benefits, proper support to find work without compulsion and decent jobs with an immediate 10 an hour minimum wage.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 20 June 2018:


What we think

Desperate divisions in Tories - Corbyn and unions must act


News

Tory cash boost not enough - save our NHS

No to Trump's climate change chaos

Universal Credit delivers claimant misery

Refugee suicide scandal

Them & Us

What We Saw


International socialist news and analysis

Seattle council repeals Amazon Tax


1000 issues of the Socialist

1000 issues of the Socialist: A vital weapon standing in proud traditions

Greetings from readers of the Socialist

How do we produce the Socialist?


Workplace

DWP surrenders to union pressure - now vote Yes to smash pay cap for everyone

Rolls-Royce: fight all job cuts!

GMB union: NHS reps reject Tory pay offer

McStrikers and young workers take centre stage at bakers' union 2018 conference

Northern Rail strike reaches 21 days of action to save guards

Miners demand end to pensions robbery

Yorks NHS workers fight outsourcing

Unite agrees NSSN affiliation - come to the NSSN conference!


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tamil Solidarity Day: intense, lively, thought-provoking

Grenfell disaster: one year on, still no prosecutions, still no adequate housing..

Organisers' school - an opportunity to educate and discuss

Leeds: Disability campaigners force council to retreat

Wrenford centre: Stop heartless Tory cuts

Knowsley council pushed back on cuts and privatisation

Orgreave - no justice, no peace


Opinion

Inspirational account of young Marx's political battles

Rousing, funny take on Marxism - from the man himself

The Socialist inbox


 

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