Universal Debit or Credit? – An accountant’s view

When I started this site in December 2010, I must admit that I didn’t know an awful lot about the universal credit system or blogging for that matter (some may say I still don’t). Over the course of the last 2 years I have read much, understood some and commented on a little.

I’ve certainly had a crash course in websites, linking, tweeting, liking and trawling the world wide web to bring the latest news on the universal credit to our readers. The IT stuff doesn’t come particularly easy to this Staffordshire based accountant (my full time day job) but I am learning – slowly! Show me a balance sheet and I’m much more at home!

The need to ensure that information is on the site and more importantly up to date has frankly become quite an obsession and I’m sure my long suffering wife would definitely agree with the word obsession. I must say a quick thank you at this point to my wife who has kindly assisted with some of our site images – I’ll say no more on that subject.

The one thing that setting up this site has made me realise more than anything, is how strongly people feel about the universal credit – Our readers certainly make their views known. I can undoubtedly see that the many different aspects of welfare reform that the universal credit will encompass has caused a lot of people to fear the changes that a new welfare system will bring. Often I get asked by friends and colleagues why I don’t post my own views on the universal credit on this website, a fair question? The simple answer is I can’t. If I did start posting my views on the universal credit then this becomes a political blog rather than an information resource for the general public. The posts that I do write hopefully generate comment and views from our readers that may or may not influence the powers that be. Bias on a site like this is not useful to our readers – after all everyone has an opinion and that opinion will always be the most valid.

A major problem highlighted by so many of our readers in respect of the universal credit is the online issue – can it work? In a perfect world where we all have superfast broadband and excellent coverage then it will work, right? Unfortunately even if the UK does manage to provide internet access for the masses then there is still the problem of assisting the many millions of potential users of the universal credit with setting up their online account and becoming “computer savvy” so that they can continually update their circumstances. This idea of getting everyone to use a computer to access their details may seem okay to the IT generation but it is possibly 20 years too early to expect it to be a viable option for all claimants.

I expect over the next 12 months, there will be much more coverage from the press and government alike on the universal credit and hopefully we’ll cover and link to as many news articles and information releases as humanly possible and I’m sure all our readers both new and old will certainly make their views known. The universal credit due in 2013 is certainly an emotive subject and rightly so with so many lives affected by its’ varying aspects – I know I get the emails. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this site over the past 2 years – it makes the hours of research on the web and now twittering (is that even a word?) worthwhile. Please use the resources in our useful links section, please check out the latest news articles and please, please keep commenting – Your Views Matter!!


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