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Fit for purpose? Job Centres in Birmingham were targeted by a campaign pointing out the inhumanity of Universal Credit to former Employment and Support Allowance claimants.

This from Luton Today is self-explanatory:

“There are fears a significant number of Luton people on benefits could be considerably worse off as the rollout of Universal Credit hits the town next week.

“Luton Council is warning people they need to act now to see how they will be affected.

“From 24 October residents in postcodes LU1 and LU2 … may be affected by the introduction of Universal Credit (UC). Although a small number of individuals have been on what is called a ‘live service’ this will now be rolled out to ‘full service’, which will also include families.

“The council and its partners have spent a great deal of time in preparation and have put in place a number of measures to help those who are worried about the change.

“Trained staff will be located at Job Centre Plus in Luton to provide support for people affected by these changes. As well as this, council housing officers and staff serving at various reception centres around the town have been specifically trained in readiness for this significant change in the benefit system.”

As you can see, council workers are treating the rollout of the new(ish) benefit as though it is the beginning of a state of emergency.

If you don’t understand why they would do this, consider this:

“Liverpool MP Louise Ellman … told the House of Commons during a key debate on the welfare reform that landlords in her constituency are increasingly reluctant to rent their homes to those claiming it “because they are concerned about mounting arrears and failure to pay”.

“Also, Labour MP Stephen Timms asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Esther McVey whether she would address the problems highlighted by recent research from the Residential Landlords Association revealing that a majority of its members are now not willing to let accommodation to Universal Credit payments.”

Then there’s this:

And this:

Add it all up.

If you are forced to claim Universal Credit, your home will be at risk, your children will be thrown into poverty and you will end up getting your groceries from a food bank.

Universal Credit is, of course, the Conservative government’s flagship social security benefit and the symbol of the Tory policy to make claiming benefits so difficult that people either take any job available to them, no matter how bad the pay and conditions, and then fight like rats in a cage to get something better, or simply die off due to starvation or suicide.

No wonder Luton is treating its rollout as a major disaster.

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