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:

triangleUniversal Credit Christmas misery

triangleScrap the Tories' Universal Credit now!

triangleEnd "poverty, ill health and despair":a benefits adviser speaks out against the cuts

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleEven UN slams Tory poorhouse Britain

Tories:

triangleGive us a bumper Christmas cash boost!

triangleJobs and homes not racism - kick the Tories out!

triangleTories' NHS cash insult - mass action can save our NHS

triangleTory chaos reaches fever pitch

Claimants:

triangleNat West's benefit-claimant eviction policy

triangleHousing arrears double, suicide risk soars - scrap Universal Credit!

triangleUniversal credit = universal misery

Benefits:

triangleUniversal Credit could trap women in violent relationships

triangleWorking families 50 a week short of paying for kids

Welfare:

triangleMansfield council must step in to save miners' park

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

12/12/18

Wales

Corbyn supporter wins Welsh Labour leadership

12/12/18

Journalists

Worldwide threat to journalists at worst for ten years

12/12/18

NUS

National Union of Students faces bankruptcy

12/12/18

Elderly

Cuts and NHS crisis result in 'excess' elderly deaths

12/12/18

Far-right

Tommy Robinson's rich backers

12/12/18

Universal Credit

Universal Credit Christmas misery

12/12/18

Public services

Interserve debts

12/12/18

NHS

Tories' NHS cash insult - mass action can save our NHS

11/12/18

Socialist

Tory chaos reaches fever pitch

5/12/18

EU

Fight for a general election to kick out the Tories

5/12/18

PCS

PCS AGS election: Where now after the Left Unity conference?

5/12/18

Technology

The growth of artificial intelligence technology

5/12/18

Huddersfield

Racist attack in Huddersfield

5/12/18

Buses

Fatal bus crash - an avoidable tragedy

5/12/18

Housing

Arrogant landlords can be beaten

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999