Your Views

Welcome to the “Your Views” section of our site. Please feel free to comment on any aspect of Universal Credit, how it affects you, how it affects others. We look forward to reading your views, thanks from all at UniversalCredit.co.uk.

One of our readers has kindly got the ball rolling for us, thanks Ann

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

I hope this site will continue especially when it comes into full force.

 

On a quick glance at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/uc-pip-claims-payments-draft-regs-2012-memorandum.pdf, I am rather shocked. The fact that in most cases up to 40% of your income )eg, jsa, esa) can be deducted for utiliies, rent arrears etc, this from an already minimal amount. If you make a mistake on the online form your claim stops and is only paid from the date your correct form is submitted, there are exceptions, et language barriers, health, etc. However, if you want a home or face to face visit, payment commences on the first contact date, not clear if guidelines in place for this in this article.
Most upsetting no social fund loans from 2017, how are people to get a cooker, fridge, pay bills, etc.

 

Monthly payments for most will be difficult. Loss of child maintenance, as I believe???, ie, it is deducted from benefits, together with the already childcare discount from 80% to 70%, is difficult.
There are so many loopholes to me that can be detrimental to the claimants, especially dates when claims begin, and if you do not fill the form in right – I see it that most people find claiming benefits as very very stressful, and how easy to make a genuine mistake when under stress. Most people used to dealing with people and not a computer too, so more mistakes could be made easily. This to me is shocking, there ought to be a set time say four weeks when your claim is being processed before your start date of claim is changed from the day you initially fill in your online form.

 

I think in time to come many people will come to your site and tell the truth about what is happening to claimants. Already people are living in fuel poverty, lack of nutritional food, some people I have seen two people sharing one very small room with curtains for bedding, etc, and so thin and no money for anything much at all, life is tough and it is getting tougher for people at the bottom. Unemployment is not a crime, and so why is it then that they alert, as I believe, the Childrens services (ie, schools mayb e) that if a family is on job seekers allowance then they can b e seen as a family at risk … HELP, th is is scary to me especially in the light that the number of children going into foster services are going up at approx 40% year on year, for the last two years, and there are gags put in place at court so these people losing their children to foster care cannot speak out, and private agencies making money, one could get paranoid. Why is it , unemployment is unemployment, it is not, as yet, a crime. People have paid in all their working lives, they lose their job due to the bankers indisgressions and the governments lack of housekeeping, so why should they not be entitled to proper provision and no scapegoated as scroungers, etc.

 

I feel the universal credit system for some, who are protected, will be ok, but for the most of us, if unemployed, etc, we will be severely affected both by the means of signing on and claiming being on the whole online and most benefits being paid monthly, which can be difficult for some when this happens, it is easier to budget weekly when skint than it is on a monthly budget, which is obvious to most.
There is a ceiling for universal credit too, but there are exceptions.
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/jsa-draft-regs-2012.pdf I have yet to read all this, but I shall do. All this is to come into effect april 2013, yikes, it is hard whilst the rich get richer and legally avoid paying huge amounts of tax, we at the bottom are paying our paye at 20% above approx £7,400 and then 20% VAT on everything nearly, it is just so tough and unless people start to unite, live together and share costs, and live like people do in third world countries, I do not know how people with a low income or on benefits, although there are a few exceptions here, are going to manage to live never mind eat and keep warm.

 

The mood of people in Britain in poor areas are low and depressing, and there is more crime on the street (although it does not appear to be if you read the news) and a lot more angry and stressed people, not to mention how many more care in the community vulnerable people are wandering the streets when they ought to be cared for and provided for in a special place of care, so not only are people struggling financially but they are struggling with crime and the community too, and on top of that the poor are struggling with education with no EMA payments (only few exceptions), and huge university costs, etc, most working class I feel may think twice about doing a degree or going to college (this is where schools may benefit, but school does not suit all children), the future of the working class in the uk now is not a bright one and even less bright with the hastening approach of such a foul benefit as universal credit, most people will be worse off, although some groups will be ok.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Ann Sanderson

 

Hi,
 while I doubt that the voice of the poor will carry any weight I would like to see the removal of tax credits for the self employed on a low income be addressed. I am severely deaf and have adjusted to this by working from home, running an online business and using work as a strategy for coping with  the associated depression, inability to use telephones and talk to people in a normal manner.
My income is sporadic, and while the business is growing, I believe, from others in the same field, that it will take 5 years of hard slog to start making even over £10,000 a year.  I have spent the last two years investing in my business. This investment – in any capital items and indirect costs – is not counted by DWP, as it would be in a normal business, and as it is by HMRC. In a way I can accept that as without WTC I wouldn’t be able to invest at all. However, I think it should be made clear that the WTC support is vital to many small start-ups, and that those claiming it run their businesses under conditions where they are not able to claim for many of the costs that a normal business can claim. 
The current Universal Credit plans also assume an imaginary income of £200 per week – or the business will be treated as non-viable, and the business owner will be forced to give up and moved to UC, to start applying for jobs that simply aren’t there. Currently if a self employed person attempts to claim unemployment benefit they have to sell off everything connected to the business – all the non allowable items I save up for like mailing boxes,clothes rails, coat hangers, scissors.
£200 a week is ridiculous. I never had that when I was working and people working full time on minimum wage don’t get that after tax and NI.
I have a Doctorate which I’m not prepared to lie about on my CV. I worked my way through 9 years of higher education doing manual labour/admin type jobs to get it. I have years of work experience, I work hard and  I have years of voluntary experience too. The Jobcentre is completely unprepared to deal with this kind of person – their whole ethos is to punish the ‘lazy workshy scroungers’ they consider their clients to be. I looked into shortage skills areas and teacher training and was met with a blank wall, and the offer of a course in literacy skills. All this from the ill bred, ill mannered, ill dressed public who can’t spell, but who can get a job with DWP. I started in business thinking that I couldn’t be worse off than on benefits – I thought I could make £64 a week at car boot sales. ( Sadly this in’t true!) but with Housing benefit assured and WTC I am increasing my turnover and staying out of debt. I have no intention of borrowing from any of the business start-up schemes as I am still in debt to the bank from my student years. I’m now resigned to a rented room, a permanent low income and no pension, plus probable enforced labour for £1.50 per hour for corporate monopolies who make enormous profits. Yes – I’m ranting a little now – but I find this demonisation of the poor frankly terrifying.
main point highlighted in bold and thanks for reading if you got this far,
Regards
Concerned Citizen
Dear UC,
Firstly, the main case points that we are trying to seek clarification from the government have been highlighted in the reports from Citizens advice bureau and the Disability Rights group.When Universal credit is introduced next year the Severe Disability Premium is to be abolished with no clear information how the shortfall will be made op, to parents whom have a disabled child and Disabled people who live alone without a career are both to lose the premium of £ 55.30 per week, £28750 per year.The second point is that the Government will no longer fund Council Tax Benefit and instead a Council Tax Support will introduced funded by the local council, in Mr. Reckless own area of Medway Council are expecting people on benefits to start paying some Council Tax. is this 10, 20% of the full amount or more.Thirdly when Personal Independence is introduced instead of DLA, the regarding of the levels of Disability will be be more rigorous.What is your knowledge of these changes and how they will affect severely disabled people next year.
Concerned Person

5 Comments

  1. Colin V says:

    The system for rating the self employed under the universal credit will be a disaster in some regions. Here in Devon many farm workers are self employed and work many hours meaning their hourly rate is unlikely to be minimum wage.

    Having a floor of minimun wage for their hours worked will either mean they fall furhter into poverty or they ask for more money and get let go. As a shop keeper struggling in recession i would be in the same boat and so would large parts of the shop keepers in my village.

    This proposed change will kill small retailers and farming communitiies alike. I seriously hope this gets a re think or there would be major hardship and self employed workers out of business if this happens.

    There will be some abusing the system but that happens in any system. Don’t tar us all with the same brush or think we earn South East salaries because we sure as hell don’t.

    Reply
    • Paul says:

      What joke this is. Finished work on December 22nd and because I worked a week in advance I wasn’t eligible for payment for the first week, now 6 weeks later they tell me im not eligible for anything even though I was out of work for 3 weeks. Might not seem a long time but with nothing coming in im now in loads of debt. No wonder government departments are closing all over the county with bs like this.

      Reply
  2. Danyal Marks says:

    Now they propose benefits to be paid monthly. Not a good idea for many people out there as they may not be able to budget monthly, hence being paid every 2 weeks. I would urge those to contact their local MP to voice their concerns about the proposal to pay benefit on a monthly cycle and say this is not on and that the present system of paying benefits should be retained. After all the government propose to do this to mirror being in work and being paid monthly. After all being unemployed is not being in work and therefore one should not expect to be paid monthly in benefits. You have a voice and make this heard if you want to put a stop to this madness on monthly paid benefit…

    Reply
  3. Madds says:

    Can some one please explain why my partner and myself cannot claim universal credit without being made to feel guilty and treated like we are criminals? The other reason I am questioning it is as a couple on a low income we were told we are entitled to it……..ACTUALLY NO WE ARE NOT!!! The jobcentre talks to us like we are stupid and tell us continually through the appointment that whilst claiming UC we should still both be looking for 35 hours work or more. My partner has a job of 20 hours per week I am 53 this year why would I be wanting to work full time, it is difficult enough to get even part time. This is yet another system to benefit the rich and punish the working people, disabled and elderly am not impressed.

    Reply
  4. Carla says:

    Well after seeking money advice service due to haveing to make a new house if benefit claim I was advised it would work out best to apply for universal credit as it was makeing me ill worrying about my rent arrears building up. As I don’t keep well with mental illness I did as advised git a small advance I am now ill suicidal left with no money to live on with two kids xmas coming up which I the anniversary of there dads death and universal credit expect people to wait 6 weeks for benefit there entitled to yes good advice no this is a shambles and cash advances to cover periods of time people should have there benefit oh yes help people get in to debt well my life could not be any harder right now everyone needs money to feed there children so where do I turn now ?

    Reply

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