Tag Archives: taper

People who support Universal Credit should try reading the small print

So much is wrong with the minority Conservative government’s idea of Universal Credit that it doesn’t just need to be “paused” and “fixed” – it should be scrapped and completely rethought.

We already know about the six-week (at least!) wait before any new claimant – or claimant transferring from another benefit – is allowed to have any money. We already know about the taper rate scam (63 per cent? Why are the poorest in society being taxed more than the richest?).

We already know the whole system is set up to ensure that people receiving the benefit remain poor. Here’s ‘James L Johnson’ (it’s a pseudonym), writing in The Independent: “As six types of benefit are now combined into one universal credit payment, any deductions for take-home pay will have an effect on the entire sum, when at other times they might have retained their housing benefit, for instance, but lost their jobseeker’s allowance. Many claimants in work now find that they are hundreds of pounds worse off per month, to their shock, after a six-week wait.”

Some of us recently discovered that two payments for people with disabilities are not being incorporated into UC, meaning they will be scrapped. They are the Enhanced Disability Premium (EDP) and Severe Disability Premium (SDP).

According to Steve Topple in The Canary:

The Enhanced Disability Premium (EDP) and Severe Disability Premium (SDP) currently give disabled people with high support needs £15.90 and £62.45 a week respectively. But under Universal Credit neither [pdf p3-4] payment exists. These, along with ESA and Income Support, will be replaced with the following paymentsunder Universal Credit (NB: the amounts are for single people over the age of 25, without children and unable to work through ill health or disability):

  • Standard allowance – £317.82 per calendar month (pcm), or £73.34 per week.
  • Limited capability for work (only for claims started before 3 April 2017) – £126.11 pcm or £29.10 per week.
  • Limited capability for work and work related activity – £318.76 pcm or £73.56 per week.

So in total, people who claimed Universal Credit after April 2017, but were previously getting ESA support group rate (£109.65 per week), EDP and SDP, will be set to lose £41.10 a week – as they currently receive £188 a week versus £146.90 under Universal Credit. This means a loss of £2,137.20 a year.

The article goes onto explain the DWP’s claims that there are safeguards – and why these claims are, for the most part, nonsense.

This Writer will try to remember to write a Freedom of Information request on take-up of those safeguards after they have been operating for a statistically significant period of time.


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The great Universal Credit rip-off: Tories are using it to impoverish WORKERS

David Gauke: He wants to push working families further into poverty.

What was that about the Tories being the “Party of the Workers” again?

They have set the regulations for Universal Credit to ensure that if a household has two people at work, the taper rate – the amount of Universal Credit withdrawn as earnings increase – is greater than under the current system of tax credits.

It means the minority Conservative government is intentionally making sure that working families take home less money under the new system.

“Party of the Workers”? Party of screwing the workers, more like!

And guess what? Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke is so pleased with the wholesale harm his system is dishing out to working people, he wants to ramp up the speed at which it is rolled out – from five Job Centres a month to 50.

So much for the Tories’ claim that “Work is the best route out of poverty”.

But then, it is typical of Tories to say one thing and do another. What else can you expect from the Party of Liars?

Universal Credit was branded a “disaster” yesterday after it emerged the new benefits system could leave working families £50 a week worse off.

New research shows the welfare reforms will penalise second earners [a second person in a household, usually a spouse, who also earns a salary] if they take on more hours.

House of Commons Library figures commissioned by Labour MP Frank Field found the taper rate – the amount of Universal Credit withdrawn as earnings increase – is greater than under the current tax credits system.

At the moment second earners lose 41p for each £1 they earn but with the Universal Credit this increases to 63p for every £1.

This means that someone earning £5,000 a year would see their income fall from £2,950 under tax credits to £1,850 under the Universal Credit.

Read more: Working families to be worse off under “disastrous” Universal Credit


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