Low paid workers will face losing top up benefits next year under the new universal credit benefits system if they decide to take strike action that causes a reduction in their pay. The basic element will remain but their universal credit award will not increase as their income falls due to strike action they have taken.
Iain Duncan Smith stated “It is totally wrong that the current benefit system compensates workers and tops up their income when they go on strike. This is unfair to taxpayers and creates perverse incentives. Striking is a choice, and in future benefit claimants will have to pay the price for that choice, as under universal credit, we no longer will.”
Brendan Barber (The General Secretary of the TUC) stated “This is petty and vindictive. Workers are always reluctant to strike, depriving their families of benefits will leave low-paid workers even more vulnerable to bad treatment.”
Is Mr Duncan Smith correct with this policy or do you agree with Mr Barber’s analysis? What are your views on benefit top ups for people who strike?