Tag Archives: five

The ‘shocking’ part of this report is that it was so easy for 1.3m children & babies to fall into poverty

Family poverty skyrocketed under Tory policies of benefit denial and wage depression. Now they can blame Covid-19 for it.

Research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and baby bank charity Little Village has shown that 1.3 million babies and children aged less than five in the UK are now in poverty.

The report found 34 per cent of families with one child under five live below the poverty line, meaning they survive on less than 60% of the median household income in the UK.

1.3 million of the 4.2 million children in poverty in the UK are babies and children under the age of 5.

Two in five of the families of the children in poverty have seen a reduction in their earnings as a result of the ongoing Covid crisis.

Undoubtedly the government will want to blame Covid-19. Measures to control the pandemic have meant lower-level incomes have suffered.

But who imposed those measures? The Tories.

And why were so many families already so close to poverty that it took only a 20 per cent reduction in their incomes (the difference between normal wages and furlough payments) to drop them into it? Because the Tories encouraged wage depression over the 10 years prior to the pandemic.

Finally, let us all remember that the pandemic has been a windfall for the richest people in the country. They have increased their income hugely.

Source: 1.3m babies and kids under 5 live in poverty in Britain, ‘shocking’ new report finds – Mirror Online

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Covid-19: is Johnson about to mess up everybody’s plans YET AGAIN?

 

Boris Johnson seems to have an irrational urge to make life difficult for everybody.

Only yesterday (January 3), he was merrily telling Andrew Marr that schools should stay open outside London and southeast England, and that although stronger Covid-related restrictions were likely, they weren’t coming yet.

Many of us thought that was extremely off-colour, of course – he was condemning people to die because he, personally, didn’t feel like changing the situation so they would be saved.

Now we find he is announcing new national restrictions at 8pm today (January 4).

He’ll say the situation has reached Alert Level 5 – the NHS in danger of being overwhelmed. He will have known this for some time, of course. We could all see this from last Wednesday, or whenever the infection rate hit more than 50,000 per day.

But that is his excuse, it seems.

There’s no need to watch his broadcast, though – Robert Peston has already told us what the announcement will be!

Oh, and Hugh Pym from the BBC has got in on the act, too:

Why does Johnson bother talking to us himself when he leaks all his announcements to his client journalists?

This must be particularly hard for schools:

One thing’s for sure: whatever happens, Keir Starmer will still be the butt of many jokes:

Let’s be clear: This is the right thing to do – but it is happening far too late.

People have died, are dying, and are being crippled – possibly for life – because Johnson is too stupid to know when to stop trying to create a public relations victory and start trying to save lives.

He has not made a good decision about the pandemic since he first heard about it, back in November 2019.

That doesn’t change the facts:

I think James is being far too hopeful.

Johnson always starts lockdown too late and stops it too soon. We’ve seen that twice now.

I saw a great new term for this today: mockdown.

Let’s hope he doesn’t adhere to form and we don’t get another mockdown.

But I fear we will.

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Tories refuse to help Universal Credit claimants left dangling due to coronavirus

Thousands upon thousands of formerly-working people are learning the realities of the UK benefit system, after being told by the Tories to wait months before their first benefit payment.

If they hoped the Tories would speed up the four-week assessment period for Universal Credit – because of the coronavirus crisis and the cash crisis it has created for millions – they thought wrong.

And they need to remember that they won’t get paid until a week after the assessment period ends; it’s a five-week total wait.

The Tories could make the wait shorter – but they won’t.

The usual excuse is that UC is supposed to mimic the salary system in which people get paid once a month (except of course we know that many people are paid weekly, or fortnightly).

The current excuse, sported by UC director general Neil Couling is “If you play about with the architecture of Universal Credit you won’t be able to pay the vast millions we have to pay every month.”

Nonsense.

It’s an automatic system. If you qualify, you qualify – and it can pay you straight away.

It doesn’t, because the Tory system is to make you wait; to push you far enough to take out an advance loan that will take months to pay off; to push you into permanent debt.

It seems the coronavirus is a perfect opportunity to get 1.4 million people (at current count) servicing a needless debt for months to come.

Hopes new Universal Credit payments could be made faster have been dashed after the Government said the four-week assessment period was ‘integral’ to the benefits system.

Many campaign groups had been hoping for an accelerated process to help alleviate the pressure families found themselves under after the coronavirus outbreak forced businesses to close and people to stay at home as part of the lockdown.

Speaking at a press briefing, Universal Credit director general Neil Couling said: ‘If you play about with the architecture of Universal Credit you won’t be able to pay the vast millions we have to pay every month.’

Source: ‘No chance’ wait for Universal Credit payments can be shortened | Metro News

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Christmas is coming – but DWP delays mean your Universal Credit payment may not be

Thousands of families could be facing debt – and possibly homelessness – this Christmas because of the Conservatives’ hated so-called “benefit”, Universal Credit.

Rules enforced by the Department for Work and Pensions mean people who are ordered to apply for Universal Credit after this week will face a five-week wait for payment.

This would put them in debt ahead of Christmas – December 25.

Take North Wales as an example. Community Housing Cymru (CHC), the membership body for housing associations in Wales, released shocking figures released revealing that 73% per cent of housing association tenants in North Wales claiming UC are in rent arrears.

The average amount owed is a staggering £585.

Data for Wales as a whole shows 84 per cent of housing association tenants claiming UC owe an average of £556 on their rent.

The figure is more than double that owed by tenants receiving Housing Benefit through the old system, according to CHC.

And the Tories tell you they have made improvements to the system.

Food bank use among people claiming Universal Credit has increased over the past six months – so there will be no turkey, mince pies or presents for them!

Many could apply for an advance Universal Credit payment, but this is a loan that will then be deducted from future payments, meaning they’ll lose up to 30 per cent of future UC payments until it is paid off.

The lack of cash may even force some claimants – mostly women – into “survival sex” work, otherwise known as prostitution.

The Tories won’t care. When then-Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey heard about this scandal – years ago – her only comment was that “perhaps there are other jobs on offer”.

She is the Tory candidate for Tatton so I advise anybody who lives there to vote Labour instead.

Labour itself is planning to pilot Universal Basic Income (UBI) schemes in which everybody would receive a basic amount to cover their living expenses, with no poverty-inducing wait.

But that won’t happen unless a Labour government is elected.

What are you going to do?

Source: Delays in Universal Credit payments risk leaving families in Christmas debt hell – North Wales Live

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