Universal Credit Union

Guest article by Jim Brown of Jim Brown Enterprises


This is one of those projects that looks better on paper than it does in reality. This idea could set the poorest working classes back a hundred years or more. This project is for them to start budgeting their money for when they get back to work and receive a wage again. In the majority of cases, it won’t work, priorities will differ from home to home. There are four main elements involved: Rent, Rates, Food and Power.
In some homes, some parents will skimp on meals to make sure they can pay the rent but try telling that to the children, they will still want their kind of food they have been used to, that will be their priority. The power ; that will rank last in most young families, especially if there aren’t any old people living there but they will still need power, more so in the winter months. Any luxuries, are a no go area, there are no allowances for them. Don’t forget most of them will have less income, due to ‘The Bedroom Tax’.
As for those who don’t make paying their rent and rates a top priority, they will be faced with eviction, now this will cost the councils a lot of extra money over the year, plus the shortfall in the total rents that they have to pay the government, means less money the government will pay back to the councils for the upkeep of their housing stock. This will become a never ending circle every year.
Now what will happen to the families that are evicted? If the council have another council house to accommodate them, then in most cases, the whole problem will start all over again. So where can these people go? There are no workhouses to place them in (not yet anyway). There’s one thing about these evictees, They won’t be carrying much baggage, for all their furniture will have been retained, to help pay off some of their rent arrears. So I can only see most of them finishing up on the streets.
Do we really want to go back to the beginning of the last century?
I can only see this leading to a large upsurge in crime, especially shoplifting and burglary.


  1. ANM says:

    I think David has missed a 5th component.

    It’s Rent, Rates, Food, Power and DEBT.

    The last one is significant because it’s the only one you can gauarantee will lead to a bang on the door on “pay day” every month.

  2. Terry Clay says:

    Jim Brown’s work is well-regarded in the credit union movement but there seems to be no connection between Universal Credit and Credit Unions other than the word Credit. I hope Jim’s forecast is over-pessimistic but cannot say for certain that it will so prove!


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