Citizens Advice Bureau in Universal Credit pilot area warns of ‘big problems down the line’

It seems the online application forms for Universal Credit are too complicated for people to fill them in without assistance, according to Citizens Advice representatives in a pilot area – so the point of being able (and indeed encouraged) to fill them in online is defeated.
Nice one, DWP – another stroke of genius!

16 thoughts on “Citizens Advice Bureau in Universal Credit pilot area warns of ‘big problems down the line’

  1. Thomas M

    This government seems obsessed with taking benefits away from those who need them most, at a time when there are no jobs to be had.

  2. Samwise Gamgee

    The whole system is designed with the principal of “less eligibility”, as Johnny Void described in one of his posts. No matter how piss-poor wages and conditions are for those at the bottom of the labour market get, benefits and conditions for those on benefits must always be even worse. There is absolutely no intention to improve the quality of jobs in this country, or to even introduce a living wage, just a perpetual race to the bottom. Combine this with the shoddy way the system is designed it’s obvious the government is determined to make claiming and receiving benefits to be as miserable an experience as possible.

    Add to this mix the looming spectre of mass workfare, with millions of people on UC eventually being forced to toil full time for nothing more than their basic benefit entitlement. The whole thing almost seems designed with workfare in mind; with the attempt to crowbar real time changes in income into the Universal Credit database it would be no great leap to incorporate the principal of workfare completely into Universal Credit. This could well be the “cultural shift” the DWP has spoken of before, with the “normalisation” of workfare and the steady disappearance of low paid jobs and their replacement with unpaid labour. I can well envisage a future I which millions of people are working full time, unpaid, in jobs which are currently paid, with those receiving any wage at all being considered the lucky ones.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Way back at the beginning of the year I did an article on the same subject – the depression of wages with the unemployed being treated like dirt on even less. I said the idea was to create an atmosphere of insecurity in which no employee could feel able to request a pay rise, for fear of being thrown away and replaced by someone from the dole queue who would work for less. I reckon that’s accurate. The talk about people on part-time hours or low wages requesting a rise is just that – talk.

      1. Big Bill

        What will this do for demand though? If I were a busnessman I’d be horrified by this prospect – if no-one’s earning more than the extremely miserly dole, how can they be buying my products?

  3. Andrew

    Unless you have been on benefits before ,just fulling in an ordinary form sent from the benefits is hard enough !!!!I WOULD LOVE TO SEE IDS TRYING TO FILL IN A BENEFITS CLAIM FORM !AND IM NOT THICK ,I WENT TO GRAMMER SCHOOL .AND THESE BENEFIT FORMS TRY TO TRIP YOU UP BY ASKING THE SAME QUESTIONS AGAIN AND AGAIN IN A DIFFERENT WAY !!!!!

  4. Crackcorn

    The single most ridiculous thing about Universal Credit is the conditionality required, where all workers in receipt of some kind of benefit who earn less than the minimum wage, e.g., part-time workers and the unemployed, have to prove that they are continually looking for “more hours or better paid work” in order to not lose their benefits; this was supposed to be done by claimants online via Universal Jobmatch! Just imagine the problems this might cause where men and women without internet access are supposed to continually jobsearch, apply for whatever vacancies are going, and log it all online so that the DWP can monitor what they’ve been up to and remove their entitlements if they’re not considered to have been “active” enough. Imagine how soul destroying and god-damn awful this would be if you had to keep it up for years and years and years, with essential support by way of benefits hanging by a thread from week to week.

    IDS wants shooting.

    1. AM-FM

      Since UC is sunk for the foreseeable future, the 35 jobsearching commitment is being applied to JSA right now.
      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/claimant-commitment-to-spell-out-what-jobseekers-must-do-in-return-for-benefits

      As it’s impossible to jobsearch for 7 hours each and every day, almost everyone on JSA will be sanctioned.

      Some local shops and business are already fed up of people popping in all day asking for work. Once a few 100,000 end up on The Commitment the whole country will come to a stop!
      The question is why are so many MPs and ministers economically illiterate.

  5. Thomas

    All the small business owners should refuse him service, so he can’t buy anything at the small shops where the best food and service is.

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