Citizens advice bureau issues briefing on the Universal Credit (Revised)

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The citizens advice bureau have issued a briefing on the universal credit and with this they hope to highlight issues that need resolution before any judgement can be made about the potential fairness of the UC. CAB promises to update their working document as further details are announced by the coalition government. Please go to our useful links section  to access the full article.

Citizens advice have issued a further briefing ; Issues for people with disabilities in Universal Credit (UC). This briefing can also be found in our useful links section.


  1. Peter Craddock says:

    Thanks for the link, good information from Citizens Advice.

  2. No problem Peter, welcome to the site.

  3. Paul Roberts says:

    This has been a long time coming and its about time something was done about the people who milk the system for their own benefit. We can no longer afford to have people choose to be unemployed because they are better off than working. Benefits should be seen as a last resort for people who just cannot get a job and find themselves in a desperate situation, not as a lifestyle choice !
    The previous government promised to sort this out but, as usual, they failed to deliver. Well done to David Cameron for having the guts to sort this out once and for all.

    • Mark says:

      Cameron and Duncan Smith have made the system even more complicated now and at a cost too. The Universal Credit system is really confusing. The main idea was to allow people to keep more money from a part time job. It is £5 now and was supposed to go up to £30 as an incentive to get people into work, but he isn’t going to allow that much now. It’s only going to be about £15!
      The current infrastructure just needed fine tuning.
      Cameron’s use of private detectives in stopping fraud is effective and makes him look good, but he didn’t tell you how much it costs.
      Welcome to the real world, which is not so simple as you think.

    • Fran says:

      Totally agree and I’m disabled

    • andy ross says:

      Paul ..try and think deeper….

      “there is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious
      makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part
      you can’t even passively take part
      and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears
      and upon the wheels, upon the levers
      upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop
      and you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it,
      to the people who own it, that unless you’re free
      the machine will be prevented from working at all!
      we’re human beings! ” MARIO SAVIO 1964 —look it up

  4. steve moorcroft says:

    People on benefits are not given enough money to live on. in 21st Century it is criminal that the UK allows people to have to choose between eating or heating. i know a neighbour who is ill and often housebound, she cant afford the heating in winter. she is in bed wrapped up in blankets. this makes her health even worse and even less ablt to work. this govt should stop targetting the poor and vulnerable in society and make the rich bankers etc pay for this recession is of their making not people who are ill claiming benefits. job centre staff are not doctors. they do not understand the effects of health problems on an individuals life.

  5. steve moorcroft says:

    if the govt wants to save money they should stop paying billions to the EU coffers. if they want to stop fraud they should stop allowing EU eurocrats from making expenses claims of astronomical proportions.
    its one rule for the rich who can get away with fraud and rarely go to prison. this is no democracy.

  6. Tony Collins says:

    I thought you were you going to work for up to 21 hours and keep up to 90 Pounds. However this is off set by the amount of Tax Credit you get.
    Everyone will be treated more like a 16 – 25 yer old.

    People obviously need a Cars Broadband and Traditional dole is out of the 1940’s. Dole should be as much as minimum wage. After all its a situation of over 20 people applying for 1 job.
    Really this replaced Tax Credit.

    • Geoff Hughes says:

      “People obviously need a Car…” Why?

      What ‘right’ do people have to expect such a luxury to be gifted to them from the earnings of those in work?

      If everyone expects to be given a full supply of goods and services without charge or having to work, then the world might as well stop working too and wait for such goods to drop out of the sky ‘free’ for everyone to use.

  7. david says:

    The benfit systems fails in any number of ways.
    I myself now find myself in need of assistance after losing my job, but i can only get a certain amount of benefit, which falls short of all my outgings, i cannot get council tax benefit at the moment because they say i have too much money, i.e. savings of £6000, i only get £47.16 jobseekers allowance because of my £285 per month pension, I cannot get any help with my mortgage.

    Seems pointless of me working for 35 years to lose all my savings and now possibly losing my house, but if i hadnt worked I’d have got full benefit, housing and council tax benefit, no wonder people dont want to work, it doesnt pay unless your a banker or one of the glorious rich, who get away with tax evasion, fraud and a host of other things that just make em richer

  8. james says:

    I am a housing benefit officer. My gross wage is £6k less than the benefit cap. My wife gets smp and £40 a month tax credits. I have no money left after my mortgage and bills. We do not smoke, drink, have sky tv. we need two cars because we live in rural Devon and we have no choice. When my wife returns to work we will be £60 short per month on our outgoings. Tax credits won’t help. We will use salary sacrifice to pay for childcare but no one tells you how it affects your Ni conts & pensions.
    If the above isn’t stressful enough I will be losing my job because IDS & DC believe that a computer somewhere can deliver the same service as I can. I agree with principal of UC but the DWP and HMRC do not realise they are dealing with people. Many of their “service users” will be homeless within weeks of UC starting. I can’t believe that council rent will be paid to the customer as well. That will just put council tax up for everyone. Private landlords will not take on any benefit cases those that do run the risk of the houses being reposessed. I see what is being chucked at benefit claimants and a few minor adjustments would save billions. tax credits have subsidised employers wages for years so now few can survive on what we can earn.

  9. james says:

    Just had an email from our head of service. Our Conservative council have tabled a motion requesting that UC be administered by LA’s. All 59 councillors voted in favour of it.

    Is anyone in the coalition listening?

  10. Comments by people like Paul Roberts about the need for welfare reforms to sort out spongers who choose welfare as a lifestyle choice, are out of touch
    when bearing in mind that 5 people are chasing every job in the UK at the moment. How do you fit 5 people into 1 job? Until the government creates enough jobs to go around the unemployed are victims of the system, although
    bigots will never face this fact. So, if a minority of people have settled for joblessness, so what if there is’nt enough work to go around! Create the jobs first, Tories, and only then will you be justified in blaming unemployment on the unemployed!

    • Carys says:

      Why do you think the government is able to or interested in creating jobs? The only way they can do that is by inventing more publc sector jobs. But we have had 1m more of those in a decade and clearly we need fewer, not more state employees, they simply cost us a fortune! The only jobs we need are in the private sector. Those have been taken in many cases by people from other countries.

  11. Alanna Cohen says:

    Choose Life. Choose a key meter, choose pay as you go phones choose to travel by bus to get to free access internet, choose to justify your failure every fortnight to a 22 year old with less experience and more money than you, choose the launderette, choose second hand white goods and replace them again in six and a half months when the guarantee’s out, choose whether to explain to the teacher that you can’t pay for the school trip or to just not let your child go, choose mild cheddar cheese and economy mincemeat with all the grease. Choose cheap shoes and second hand swimwear, choose to read the red-tops for the £10 holiday vouchers, choose to pay your voluntary tax to camelot. Choose to do nothing to avoid the shame of failure, choose to blame the immigrants for taking all our jobs and getting more money from the state than british people cos there has to be worse people out there than me.

    It doesn’t have to be like this but it so often is, and damn is it depressing. I’ve been a scrounger twice now (thankfully this only totals at about eight months) because I choose to work in the third sector where funding is a little sporadic. I managed ok but then I was fortuitously living rent free in a large house with a washing machine and no key meters and second time round already had a car (it is still cheaper to take the kids out in the car here than to use the bus). I have very good budgeting skills and when I have the time (which clearly I did) I cook pretty much everything from basic ingredients so we were eating well. Without these combined skills it would have been extremely difficult.
    I have met three people in my entire life who have ‘chosen’ to live on benefits. The first was 15 years ago and she volunteered full time working with children with special needs ( you’d be less likely to get away with that now as your availability for work would be called in to question). The second was a couple of years later and everything the stereotype suggests but retrospectively I think he had some fairly serious mental health issues going on, the third is an aspiring writer, a vegan (cheap food from scratch) and a 24 hour per week volunteer and as a taxpayer (I’m actually into the bracket this year – whoop whoop!) I think he gives really good value for money through his volunteering. I actually think that volunteering in return for benefit peanuts should be allowable long term for people who do genuinely make that a lifestyle choice.
    But if we’re going to stick with a capitalist model then work has to pay so I would not be giving claimants ( this is an inoffensive alternative to the word scroungers) the equivalent of a full time minimum wage. It really would be a viable lifestyle choice then. Definitely more reliable than a string of sporadic short term minimum wage agency jobs that mean going through the claiming process again every time the work dries up.

    • andy ross says:

      “I’ve been a scrounger twice now ”
      Until you said this, you sounded like someone with a brain that works beyond the basic social functions of an ant.

  12. jack says:

    There are some polarised views on this. Firstly, Paul Roberts view is valid, but only in a small number of cases, and the real issue with this minority is that they are practically unemployable. As someone else mentioned, those in touch with reality can clearly see that UC as proposed is a non starter, hence a Tory council voting unanimously for it to be administered by LA’s. All the evidence shows that is far more effectively handled at a local level, as were DWP benefits before some bright spark decided that it would be more effective for someone in Cornwall to talk to a call centre in Leicester about their JSA claim.
    The people who are suffering, and who should be the ones listened to are the people who are in the vast majority, try and do the right thing, and are frankly s**t on.
    James from Devon, who posted earlier is a typical example, and I have every sympathy.

  13. olly may says:

    Why is it that a single girl with a baby or a woman/man or a pensioner can live in a two or three bedded Council or Housing Assoc property and claim Housing Benefit,when they do not need a place as big….surely it must save money if they re-housed these people to a property that suited there needs…when my Grandad passed away my Gran had lived in her flat for many years but had to move to a smaller place to make room for bigger families..and also help her with a lower rent….also today husband and wife both working full-time get money to pay for there child care that does not make sense either….these child carers are making a fortune and the poor kids do not grow up with what |I call a normal life…if they stopped this the goverment would save alot and help the poor devils trying hard to get a job

  14. nellie says:

    I live in the Highlands, there are no smaller properties for tenants who wish to down size. My brother and his wife have been waiting for a one bedroom property for 2 years, they currently live in a 3 bedroomed flat. They are unable to do a council exchange with another tenant to downsize either. Where do the Government think all these one bedroom properties will come from. A lot of the council housing stock was sold off in the ’80’s under Thatcher and the money not reinvested. The Government created the shortfall by selling it in the first place, now the poor are having to pay for that too with the room tax.


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