Universal Credit isn’t enough to live on – and the DWP is making it more conditional

Research has shown that people can’t afford to live on Universal Credit – and the Department for Work and Pensions is responding by making it harder to hold onto a claim.

The DWP’s policy was recently articulated as ensuring that work always pays more than living on benefits – and this is increasingly a problem for poverty-stricken individuals and families, because wages are being pushed through the floor.

The reason for this is to maximise profits for big firms; if they keep their wage bills down, they can pass more profit to their shareholders.

They don’t care about employees’ ability to pay bills because they make most of their money abroad – or the bill-payers are practical hostages, with no alternative options for the services they are being pushed into poverty to buy.

That’s why this has happened:

Universal Credit payments are well short of the amount needed for people to afford essentials, two of the UK’s most prominent anti-poverty organisations warn.

Joint research… by the Trussell Trust and Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that the standard allowance is £35 too low for a single person and £66 for a couple.

Nine out of 10 people on low incomes are going without essentials, the JRF found.

Researchers estimates a single person needs at least £120 per week, while couples have to have at least £200 a week, just to afford essential items.

You might expect the DWP to change direction. You’d expect wrong.

The latest development from the government department is to make receipt of UC conditional on jumping through even more hoops than people already do.

Individuals working at least 15 hours per week and couples working 24 hours or more between them will be moved from the ‘Light Touch’ group to the ‘Intensive Work Search’ group.

They will have increased scrutiny placed on them to find work and develop a career. It also means they are expected to search for opportunities to take up more or better paid work and research new career options.

Combined with a previous increase in September, this will mean around a quarter of a million more people will have been moved into ‘Intensive Work Search’.

Failure to meet the new conditions will mean sanctions and possible denial of the benefit altogether.

The DWP and its ministers talk up the change as though it’s an opportunity; it isn’t.

It is merely piling more stress onto people whose minds are already overtaxed with simply trying to make ends meet.

Source: Universal Credit ‘at least £35 too low for buying essentials’ government told and DWP issues new rules for people working while receiving Universal Credit – all you need to know</a

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1 thought on “Universal Credit isn’t enough to live on – and the DWP is making it more conditional

  1. flttymartyn

    The criminals running the DWP are making sure their callousness and cruelty continue. These criminals should be arrested and prosecuted for all the harm they are causing to vulnerable people!

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