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Another back-of-a-fag-packet Tory scheme falls apart.

Boris Johnson told us that Universal Credit would be available to self-employed people who become out-of-pocket as a result of his coronavirus lockdown. It’s a con, because they will receive just £94 per week, whereas employees whose firms sign up to the government’s wage guarantee will receive 80 per cent of their normal pay, up to £2,500 per month.

That’s a big difference – but the wage guarantee isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either; think what happens in firms that don’t sign up to it.

What a shame he didn’t find out whether the Department for Work and Pensions could cope with the extra load first.

And how strange that senior DWP official were reportedly sent to Job Centres, when the Job Centres are closed to appointments and assessments.

So what do you think has happened?

According to Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey, the department has processed almost half a million claims in nine days.

And what do you think that means for the average claimant?

Here’s one now:

“Been trying to apply for Universal Credit and get my £95pw,” he writes.

“I started 4 hours ago.

“The number of people ahead of me in the queue has fallen by roughly 1,000.

“At this rate it will take 16,230.8 days to get to the front of the queue.

“Isn’t it great being self-employed?”

This story suggests Ms Coffey has been overoptimistic about the speed with which her people are processing claims.

I find the deadpan of the DWP computer system unintentially comical: “Number of users in queue ahead of you: 97,385.

“Your estimated wait time is: more than an hour.”

And of course people contacting the DWP about their continuing claims have been caught up in the delays.

A commenter to This Site told me they needed to contact the DWP before March 21 to meet a Universal Credit deadline – but was unable to do so because of the delays.

So the DWP sent a message saying the benefit had been stopped.

Fortunately it was possible to reinstate the payments in this case.

But the message is clear:

This was another promise Boris Johnson simply couldn’t keep. He is a menace to the public.

Source: Almost 500,000 people in UK apply for universal credit in nine days | World news | The Guardian

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