Benefit payments are at their meanest since start of ‘welfare state’ – and Tories plan to make them worse

Less in the pockets of benefit claimants: I have used an image of an elderly person’s hands after a 65-year-old man died while waiting in a Job Centre to discuss his benefit options after being ruled fit for work.

It takes a special kind of psychosis to push people into destitution, despair, sickness and suicide – and pledge to make it worse.

That is the Conservative Party’s plan for people on benefits, after the IPPR think tank revealed that social security payments are at their lowest – and therefore least adequate – since the Labour government of 1945-51 formed the Welfare State.

The IPPR report, according to The Guardian, states that:

The £73 standard weekly allowance for universal credit, the government’s flagship benefit claimed by 2.3 million people, is now equivalent to 12.5% of median earnings. By contrast, when unemployment benefit was introduced in 1948 it was worth 20%.

As a result, millions are being “excluded from mainstream society, with the basic goods and amenities needed to survive let alone thrive increasingly out of their grip”, the study by the IPPR thinktank said.

the IPPR is calling on parties to pump an emergency £8.4bn into the system, which has been made tougher than previous regimes by making debt deductions from payments, increasingly underpaying and applying strict sanctions.

A third of universal credit claimants are in work.

Remember that last point – one-third of Universal Credit claimants are in work.

And what is the Conservative Party planning to do, if returned to government on December 12?

It will make the situation worse.

The Tories plan to actively force people to move onto Universal Credit in the next Parliament, rather than waiting for them to apply.

They will force everybody changing to the new system into a five-week wait for their first payment, meaning many will be forced into serious debt before they have received a single penny.

Some may receive more money in their benefit award – but others are likely to be worse-off.

And families will be hit by the roll-out of the two-child limit on support through means-tested benefits, and the abolition of the ‘family premium’ -extra support that families get for their first child.

The two-child limit has been criticised because any woman with a third may only receive benefits for it if they can show it was the result on non-consensual sex, in accordance with the humiliating so-called ‘rape clause’ that is, in effect, a second violation of a crime victim.

The Conservatives have nothing to say about these tyrannical policies in advance of the election.

This indicates that they have no intention to lift them.

Labour would end them altogether.

Source: UK social security payments ‘at lowest level since launch of welfare state’ | Politics | The Guardian

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  1. trev November 19, 2019 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    I’m currently on a training course run by Interserve and the tutor, who works closely with the Jobcentre, has informed the class that we will all be transferred to Universal Credit in January. We are all currently still on JSA and obviously concerned about this, though the Jobcentre haven’t said anything about it yet, but are training most of their staff for UC at the moment and do seem to be gearing up for it.

    • timfrom November 19, 2019 at 5:46 pm - Reply


      I was on JSA until they wanted to move me onto UC. When I saw the agreement they wanted me to sign, I told them to stick it and I signed off.

      I was probably lucky in that I got a P/T cleaning job almost straight away and, because I was no longer under the Jobcentre’s gun, was able to keep my Housing Benefit claim. Once you sign onto UC you won’t be able to do this, so move heaven and earth NOW to get a 10 hr (or more, if you can stand it) pw job doing absolutely whatever comes along while you still have the choice.

      You won’t be any better off financially, but the benefit to your mental health is well worth it, believe me!

      • trev November 20, 2019 at 1:33 pm - Reply

        Upon further investigation it seems that the Interserve woman has got her facts wrong, or is lying. As far as I can make out the legislation says that managed migration of legacy Benefits doesn’t begin until Nov. 2020 and will be ongoing over a 3 year period up until Dec. 2023. So according to that we won’t be transferred to UC in January. And who knows what will happen before the end of 2020 or 2023 ? Currently only new claims and changes in circumstances are being transferred to UC.

  2. Diane Senior November 19, 2019 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    20 yrs ago I came back to London and went on unemployment while looking for work. It was approximately £200 every 2 weeks. Now I’m on UC @ £317 PCM. Today it was cancelled bc I hadn’t filled in my “change of circumstances”. My circumstances haven’t changed, but the only way to get my payment back was to agree that they had changed. It’s all bollocks!

    • trev November 19, 2019 at 4:09 pm - Reply

      I’m waiting with baited breath to see if I am transferred to UC in the new year, am dreading it.

  3. timfrom November 19, 2019 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    It also takes a special kind of psychosis to vote for a party with such a policy, particularly when it’s against one’s own interests! (Hello, working class & BAME Tories!)

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