Universal credit. The devil’s tool.

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I wrote about this a long time ago. Some took notice most didnt. There’s this strange attitude in the UK, if it’s not happening to me then I’m not bothered. But when it does happen to me I’m going to go mad. Thankfully myself and likewise folk are not like this. We see the implications and share them as widely as possible.

Universal credit isnt there to help you find work, that I’m sure of. Most people who are claiming universal credit are already working and are forced to comply with obscene job searches on top of this. If you aren’t working 39 hours a week or more you are seen as being under employed, so therefore have to comply with their rules.

Remember the man that I wrote about a long time ago? He was a single bloke working but forced to go onto universal credit. He had a job work an agency and could never guarantee his hours. It was also a zero hour contract. Basically work when we tell you because you never know when we will give you work again.
This man had worked a full week of nights, but he still had to complete his job search. They monitored him closely, ensuring that he didn’t get any rest. He tried his best to complete the number of hours given for his job searches, but he was a hour short because he fell asleep.
Ashton jobcentre didn’t use their discretion. Nope they sanctioned him his top up. At the time this also meant his housing benefit, although thankfully this has been corrected now. 
He lost everything, he didn’t get any work for a month, so lost his home, his family and he was literally starving. We signposted him to help and fed him, gave him a hat, gloves and scarf. Ive never seen a man as bereft of everything and he was close to taking his own life.
But no one took notice… Because it wasn’t happening to them.
We are however challenging their rules. If you are already in work then you ate obviously already seeking to obtain more work. Also the attitude that a single parent should have to work full time is terrible. A child needs to see their parents. For a single parent, working is already a struggle, but faced with hardly being able to see their children, well in my eyes that is heartbreaking. Don’t be fooled by the sudden kindness of this government in providing nursery places for 2 year old children. This is to ensure that you either return to work or take part in their awful work programme activities.
It’s not kindness we are plainly a commodity to them.

You can read the original blog if you scroll down.

This is why my comrades and myself campaign every week outside Ashton under Lyne jobcentre every week. We give help and advice to others.
We are also a knowledgeable bunch if people and we know our stuff. So pop by and say hello. We are there every Thursday 10-12

Remember just because it’s not happening to you doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter!

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23 thoughts on “Universal credit. The devil’s tool.

  1. The point is to create a permanent underclass, one which can never escape poverty. This is what UC will actually do, so it seems fair to assume that’s the real point of it. From day one because it didn’t cover council tax support it was obvious, as even Frank Field had to agree, it could never actually do what it said on the tin which was to encourage people to work by rewarding them. It’s always been a complete con in that respect.

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  2. After you wrote about this previously I’ve been trying to convince people I know that just because they work doesn’t mean they’re not going to have to trot of to the job centre, or about what they will lose financially under UC none of it affects me my childs grown up and flown the nest ions ago, Fighting bedroom tax is another, I won’t stop campaigning just because it doesn’t affect me, if I did then I’d be as bad as a Tory shudder! I’ve was brought up to care about others and will continue to do what I can to stop the cruelty and bullying, I admire you so much for keeping going and protesting & helping people at the Jobcentre long may you be able to continue 🙂

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  3. Frankly this is a ludicrous burden to be expected to place upon people, as surely people have enough on their plate who are already working to have to comply with government requirements to search for jobs their way. Can people not simply be trusted to find more or better employment on their own terms?

    Really what we need to campaign for is some kind of citizen’s income/universal minium income to replace the current benefits system. There may be issues with this, though it means there are no hoops to jump through, no conditionalities and ridiculus sanctions, and no insecurity.

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  4. Looks like you’ll be even busier with Crab and his UC ambitions. It seems he’s cherry picking from that awful Reform Group report. He’s going to abolish Support group too, but also make it harder to get PIP which under the cack handed Reform Group report was supposed to be the source of sickness and disability support.. I felt genuine fear when I saw that, because I know from your work Charlotte how badly the current system affects those struggling, snd that you have seen the evil in UC. It makes me so scared that this will be done to the vulnerable, the working, the carers, the unemployed. Even if we get some changes, there are always more and worse in the pipeline. I can’t understand those who are looking the other way. Thank you for your support of those in your town, I know it means so much. We need to protest, and bring this govt down. There’s the big demo on the 16th April UN London,, but also the local events planned for the 4th July, and I hope those reading this will do their best to support and publicise these protests. I can’t get to London or do demos, not well enough, but I am going to help with the cost of someone I know who is going to London.

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  5. Hi All

    I would just like to point out to all a big problem, familywise concerning parents.

    Parents are considered to be the lawful carers for said children – no one can leave a child on their own under a certain age. To do so would mean Criminal charges of child neglect.

    As this is a Parliamentary Act which has not been overridden – if it had been it would of course make the Gov liable if anything happened to said child as parent/parents have to leave child alone at home (ConCon Nanny State anyone?) – if a person is ordered to break the law, be it by an individual or a organization that organization is directly responsible, especially if it used “Threats”, or in this case Sanctions to get its way [maybe fraud against the poor parent as well – that would be up to the police once they’re called in]

    This is of course my opinion but I think if people check around the available case law they will see this is more than a strong possibility.

    Oh dear, why do I think this whole Idea is going to fail….

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  6. Well done for highlighting this. It’s shocking the way people are being treated. Fortunately UC is looking like it with fold before it’s even really started but at what cost to those affected in the meantime?

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  7. Universal Credit was designed from the very first to get round two of the problems that the Jobcentre had with Jobseeker’s Allowance:

    1.Under JSA regulations a claimant could not be forced to apply for part-time jobs of less than 24 hours a week, if they were registered for full-time work

    2.Nor could a JSA claimant be compelled to take on a ‘zero hours’ contract

    Under Universal Credit, a claimant can be forced to apply for any job going, at any hours, and under any conditions. Or face a draconian sanction system, again made far stricter than Jobseeker’s Allowance. Plus on Universal Credit, there is scope for unlimited workfare under the provision of ‘work preparation’.

    The reality of Universal Credit is people becoming virtual slaves of the system. With no say in what work they do, or how, or when. Forbidden to take a break or holiday of any kind, these UC claimants will run desperately like rats in a maze. Trapped in one poor quality, low-paid role after another. For many people, this is the future.

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  8. The tragedy is that Labour has been handed this massive attack weapon and have done absolutely fuck all with it. They only jumped on tax credits as a back seat passenger. Shameful.

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  9. You have written the best blog I have ssen so far on this subject. I cannot understand why people aren’t taking to the streets in their thousands over this. There is some very scary wording in the letter you show and far more people should be very concerned. Particularly the parts about reducing reliance on UC, encouraging independence but most chillingly of all the paragraph that say ‘ because you still get some UC’.
    Presumably the reduction of reliance means ‘ until you rise above the limit to receive the benefit’ and the last paragraph opens the door for this extreme JCP intrusion to be used against any one who requests UC regardless of income.
    It will be almost impossible for the majority of people to improve their income in this economic climate so millions of workers can look forward to the haranguing and bullying that the unemployed know so well.
    While workers doing more than 40 hours a week wag censorious fingers at the feckless part timers they should be very aware that it looks likely that the same system will be used against them in turn.

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