Backlash against DWP as Universal Credit throws almost half of claimants into debt

Nearly half the people on Universal Credit are struggling to pay their bills, according to damning findings buried in a government survey, published on the quiet while MPs were away from Parliament yesterday (June 8).

The Conservatives still think they can release information when nobody will notice. They still don’t understand that somebody is always looking.

The survey itself was written in an attempt to hide the worst findings, which are buried deep in the 82-page document. But we find that:

  • 44% of claimants were either “falling behind” with bills or “experiencing real financial difficulties” three months into their UC claim.
  • That figure reduced by just a fraction to 40% for people who were eight or nine months into their claim.
  • In one group, a third of claimants admitted they took money from friends and family, while 11% applied for a bank overdraft.
  • Others were forced to use charities, payday loan firms and doorstep lenders, the survey confirmed.
  • Meanwhile just over a third (35-36%) were in arrears on housing costs. And for almost half of those people (44%), the arrears had got bigger by the time they were eight or nine months into their claim.

The survey was carried out by IFF research for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) between March and September last year.

It questioned 2,194 people in a first wave, 931 of whom offered to be re-questioned for a second wave. A further 1,422 claimants were selected for the second wave alone.

Here’s the reality of Universal Credit:

Now look at the way the DWP is discussing the survey:

You can be financially motivated in several ways.

For example, you could be making ends meet, and then have an offer of work that improves your situation.

Or you could be told that the government will take money away from you if you don’t do exactly as you are told. That’s blackmail.

Which do you think the Tories are doing?


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6 Thoughts to “Backlash against DWP as Universal Credit throws almost half of claimants into debt”

  1. Salt in the wound: some DWP bod in UC Delivery got a gong. FFS!

  2. Removing Housing Benefit from UC would alleviate the main problem with UC but of course the Tories want people to be evicted so they end up destitute in the gutter. They’ll then eventually die – job done.

  3. Prickly

    I attended the Neighbourhood Watch AGM in Derbyshire last week. The volunteers who run NW were great. The token cop in attendance (Inspector level) appeared to be intellectually challenged and very willing to repeat his ‘masters’ lies. Someone asked a question about crime levels and what sort of crimes were being committed in the town (largest town in Derbyshire). Cop admitted shop lifting had increased since Universal Credit came in. My ears pricked up as I thought ‘Wow, he is going to tell us the truth about the starving people.’ No such luck. Cop told us that with UC, people were handed their rent money directly, rather than it being paid to landlords. The rent money was then spent on alcohol and drugs and then the claimants went shoplifting.

    Cop was too stupid to question what he had obviously been told, and felt it okay to repeat it to the public.

    1. gordon powrie

      Have to ask; did you challenge him?

      1. Prickly

        Reply to Gordon: Not on this directly as no opportunity due to conversation from others moving it along. Others sitting around me knew what I thought as they heard what I said to my companion, in response. However, I did challenge him directly on several other topics: he claimed our town had no homeless people! He said the Council had offered to house those sitting on pavements and begging, but they had refused. He made out all the ‘homeless’ were druggies who made a very good living by begging, and then went to their homes each night. (Thus contradicting himself.)

        I do know a woman who is a County Councilor – a very genuine person, not in it for herself – and she tells me different. She says that over the last 8 months or so, the homeless figures have dramatically increased, and people are literally on the streets.

        I also know another person who volunteers at a church food bank charity, where they also provide a cooked meal once a week. She tells me there are increasing numbers all the time. Not just since UC. This has been increasing for the last few years due to sanctions of the unemployed and ill, and the removal of DLA and people being awarded no points on PIP. We met at a nightschool class, and last Summer we realised one of our fellow students was in despair due to hardly any money, as ESA cuts due to 0 points on PIP. He couldn’t afford food for himself and his wife. Lack of food affected his health issues, naturally. Luckily he won at Tribunal.

        Back to the police. Useless. Serving their ‘masters’. The idiot at the meeting kept mentioning the budget cuts but then went on to say they had a large police presence at Danesmoor where they are fracking, due to those awful protesters getting in the way. Yes – enough money to protect big business. He did hear what I said about that.

        A difficult meeting to say ‘too many truthful things’ as Neighbourhood Watch attracts the middle classes who are concerned about their homes being burgled. I had to keep up the pretense I was like them, and not alienate them.

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