This persecution is how the DWP makes work pay more than benefits

This persecution is how the DWP makes work pay more than benefits

People on Universal Credit who work fewer than 18 hours per week will have to find more work. This persecution is how the DWP makes work pay more than benefits.

From today (Monday, May 13, 2024) people on the minimum wage will have to reach a new Average Earnings Threshold (AET) of £892 per month, which is equivalent to working 18 hours per week.

This seems to be in order to honour the Tory government’s commitment that work should always pay more than benefits; with wages being pushed through the floor to maximise profits for big companies, while bills skyrocket, the income of a UC claimant working 15 hours per week simply isn’t enough.

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Piling on the stress

This Site discussed the matter when the idea was first put forward in March 2023:

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.

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.

Do you get the picture now?

Where is the work?

I would like to know where this extra work is going to be found.

Employers won’t be offering it. As I mention above, they have their shareholders to service and need to keep payroll down.

To me, it seems this is an excuse to push people off-benefit and into starvation and death, which is the usual – hushed-up – way the Tory government frees up space in the workforce.

Am I wrong?

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One Comment

  1. Stu May 13, 2024 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    It has always been this way with Tories (and New Labour) – Create a “Fanfare” about some new Policy then keep raising the bar higher.

    Imagine a scenario where someone with Disabilities makes the effort to try to “re-integrate” into the workplace but is only actually physically capable of working Part-Time, for max 15 hours for example.
    Are they forced to work more hours?
    Are they told that they have Demonstrated that they are Capable of Work and their Benefits Lifeline is then Cut or Removed Completely?

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