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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 November 2018

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

Cut tax scroungers, not benefits, photo by Socialist Party Wales

Cut tax scroungers, not benefits, photo by Socialist Party Wales   (Click to enlarge)

General election now to reverse welfare attacks

Corinthia Ward, Birmingham Central Socialist Party

Universal Credit claimants are being pushed into serious mental health problems, with some even considering suicide, according to public health researchers in the North East.

Housing workers in Gateshead have even had suicide prevention training. Meanwhile, council tenants on Universal Credit have over double the rent arrears of those still on old-style housing benefit, according to BBC Panorama.

Socialists have opposed this disastrous welfare system - which lumps benefits together while reducing and delaying them - right from the start.

The Tory government, not wanting yet another humiliating u-turn on an unpopular and disastrous idea, put 2.7 billion into 'tweaking' the scheme in the October Budget. This money could have been much better used to fund actual welfare payments, by scrapping Universal Credit altogether.

The fact the Tories went ahead with pushing through Universal Credit shows their complete disregard for the working class and poor.

Missed or wrongly calculated payments take up to seven weeks to come through - leaving some families nothing but 30 a month to live on after rent. This results in many having to use foodbanks while waiting weeks for the money they're owed to come through!

Uncertainty over bill payments, and having to choose between food or a roof over your head, is pushing more people to the brink, causing anxiety and depression.

Yes, there are the poorest in society, many unable to work due to illness or disability. But also big numbers of those in work who, because of low wages and the high cost of living, are forced to rely on benefits to get by.

With a million people on Universal Credit so far - expected to rise to eight million if fully rolled out - the situation will only get more severe.

What we need is Corbyn to demand that Universal Credit be completely scrapped, and those already left short be paid what they are owed immediately. We need all cuts to welfare reversed, a 10-an-hour minimum wage as a step towards a real living wage, the end of zero-hour contracts, and caps on rents.

The Tories are on their last legs - Corbyn and the union leaders can mobilise workers to push them out. Workers should not be subsidising bosses' poverty wages and landlords' overpriced housing!

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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 21 November 2018:

What we think

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May's government limps on... Corbyn and unions must call urgent, mass action

International socialist news and analysis

How can Trump be defeated?

Spanish state: Over one million students strike against sexism and for inclusive sex education

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Even UN slams Tory poorhouse Britain

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

75,000 kids in foster care - and counting: end cuts and for-profit care

Them & Us

What we saw

Workplace news

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'Worker's death could happen again' at Leicester plastic factory

Arriva Rail North under pressure after nineteenth Saturday strike

Indefinite dinner ladies' and teaching assistants' strike

Hamilton posties walk out against bullying

Tube strike solid against victimisation

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Save our NHS - oust the Tory wreckers!

Solidarity with Irish rape trial protests

Thousands march against racism - now Corbyn and unions must take lead

Mansfield council must step in to save miners' park

Stop Nottingham Labour's cuts to disabled travel!

Step up fundraising for the Xmas Collectathon!


Nothing to offer from the Blairites

The Socialist inbox


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Related links:

Universal Credit:

trianglePCS union demands better deal for benefits claimants

triangleUC stopped without warning

triangleNew BBC series - Insight or whitewash?

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: A socialist programme on housing

triangleAusterity anger feeds movement for Welsh independence


triangleUnite: elect fighting socialist reps

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleAct now to cancel Covid crisis rents and debt

triangleStarmer in full retreat over C-19 rents crisis


triangleEven social-care bosses say cuts have gone too far

triangleEnd Tory cold cruelty: life under austerity in Merthyr

triangleTories out. Scrap Universal Credit. Fight for living wages and welfare!

General election:

triangleCouncil cuts could cost Labour another general election

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triangleSocialist Party Wales: Starmer turns Labour right - Time for a new workers' party


triangleTesting: Tories' 5bn gift to private sector


triangle1,600 less benefits if your job goes - while super-rich splash cash

Mental health:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Capitalism is bad for mental health


triangleHousing - bold, socialist measures necessary


triangleNottingham unions fight council job cuts


triangleJobcentre reopening: only union struggle will put safety first

Housing benefit:

triangleUniversal Credit could trap women in violent relationships

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