Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/968/26345

From The Socialist newspaper, 25 October 2017

Universal Credit chaos: Tories punish the poor

Jobcentre Plus, photo Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)

Jobcentre Plus, photo Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Karen Seymour, Mansfield Socialist Party

Theresa May and her weak, in-fighting Tory cabinet seem hell-bent on rolling out the hated 'Universal Credit' welfare system. But even many of their own MPs don't agree - another fracture in this divided minority government.

The push for rapid expansion is in spite of repeated warnings Universal Credit will be a disaster for those with no choice but to claim benefits.

Already, claimants regularly have to wait six weeks or longer to receive their money. This causes untold hardship to vulnerable people who are unlikely to have savings to fall back on.

Referrals to foodbanks, rent arrears and evictions soon follow. Two south London boroughs have found that Universal Credit actually created further debt for over half of their claimants. One foodbank said its referrals nearly doubled.

The Tories' insistence that Universal Credit is encouraging more people back into work is laughable. What sort of work? Often it's minimum-wage, zero-hour contracts, or other unreliable employment.

Even some Tory MPs have expressed concerns about the system, no doubt under pressure following the surge of electoral support for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity programme. Even former Conservative prime minister John Major has hypocritically called Universal Credit "operationally messy, socially unfair and unforgiving."

Protesting against the Tories, photo Paul Mattsson

Protesting against the Tories, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

In two potentially massive climbdowns, the government recently announced the scrapping of the scandalous 55p-a-minute Universal Credit helpline charge. A reduction to the number of weeks before claimants receive their cash is also being considered.

And in a non-binding Commons vote - which the Tory leadership ordered abstention on, fearing an embarrassing backbench rebellion - pausing the rollout won by 299 votes to zero. Nonetheless, Tory MP Sarah Wollaston defied the instruction by voting with Labour.

Unfortunately, Labour's response to the rollout of Universal Credit has not gone far enough. The Commons motion - moved by Debbie Abrahams, a former advisor to right-winger Simon Danczuk - asked for the government to "pause the roll-out" while its problems "are fixed."

No amount of tinkering at the edges will make this weak excuse for benefit cuts fair. It needs to be scrapped altogether, and now.

The Socialist Party fights to replace it with liveable benefits, proper support to find work without compulsion, decent jobs with an immediate 10 an hour minimum wage, and an end to the demonisation of benefit claimants.

The Tories' partial retreats - on this and other issues - show their days are numbered. Mass action, including coordinated strikes, could end their hated government.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 25 October 2017:


What we think

Socialists must back Catalan struggle for self-determination


Women

1967 Abortion Act reflected social changes


International socialist news and analysis

Kurdish referendum declared illegal


Socialist Party news and analysis

Universal Credit chaos: Tories punish the poor

Fearful Tories mull borrowing to build

Kids wait 18 months for mental healthcare

Profit-driven pesticide use now threatens life

Profiteering NHS counter-fraud firm in alleged case of... fraud

Them & us

What we saw: May on Facebook


Workplace news and analysis

Aslef members must reject poor Southern Rail offer

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

NSSN meeting brings together workers in struggle

Manchester lecturers walk out


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Hear from socialists involved in struggles the world over at the Socialism 2017 Saturday rally

Angry east London residents organise against threat to leisure centre

Trade unionists march to defend 650 local jobs

Bad Art's Leicester event

Storm Brian cannot withstand working-class anger


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Well-deserved ridicule of Stalinism is impressive, funny but flawed

Film - Dennis Skinner: Nature of the Beast

New musical on life of Castro

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 25 October 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Universal Credit:

triangleCarlisle socialists campaign against Universal Credit

triangleChild poverty set to hit 5.2m - unions and Corbyn must act now

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleMajor attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty

triangleFight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system

Tories:

triangleNHS cuts kill!

triangleAfter the budget: step up the fight against austerity!

triangleMarch for free education! We demand a future!

triangleTories on the brink - kick them out!

Claimants:

triangleUN slams Tories for disabled rights ruin

triangleBenefits workers oppose 'rape clause' and two-child limit

triangleScrap the Tory 'rape clause' and all benefit attacks

Benefits:

triangleDisability cuts outrage: my story

triangleBosses say 217 years to close pay gap - workers' struggle can close it now!

Welfare:

triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: The fight for the welfare state

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

23/11/17

Pay

After the budget - unions must launch pay fight

22/11/17

Climate change

Carbon dioxide hits 800,000-year high: end profit-driven pollution

22/11/17

Football

Gentrification on the terraces: fans say twenty's plenty

22/11/17

NHS

NHS cuts kill!

22/11/17

Them & Us

Them & us

22/11/17

Housing

Posh estate agent's housing crisis solution: make your own sandwiches

22/11/17

Labour

What does the left victory in Scottish Labour mean?

22/11/17

Housing

Councils' 1bn on commercial property

22/11/17

Labour

After the budget: step up the fight against austerity!

15/11/17

Prisons

4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

15/11/17

Preston

Is cuts-making Preston 'beating Tory austerity'?

15/11/17

Housing

No more excuses: fit sprinklers now!

15/11/17

What we saw

What we saw

15/11/17

Energy

We're freezing: reverse cuts to boiler replacement schemes!

15/11/17

Tories

Tories on the brink - kick them out!

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle23 Nov After the budget - unions must launch pay fight

triangle22 Nov What does the left victory in Scottish Labour mean?

triangle22 Nov General secretary coronation

triangle22 Nov After the budget: step up the fight against austerity!

triangle21 Nov Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

triangle15 Nov March for free education! We demand a future!

triangle15 Nov Tories on the brink - kick them out!

More ...

triangle23 Nov East London Socialist Party: How can free education be won?

triangle23 Nov Waltham Forest Socialist Party: Trump and the resistance

triangle23 Nov London: Support event for education workers in Turkey

triangle23 Nov Cardiff East Socialist Party: Catalonia, Scotland and Wales

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2