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Benefit Reforms - Universal Credit

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Early thoughts on this?

I think there are lots of things to worry about, from what I've heard so far: forced unpaid work, housing benefit cuts if you can't find a job, benefits stopped for three years- yikes!
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote: »
    Early thoughts on this?

    I think there are lots of things to worry about, from what I've heard so far: forced unpaid work, housing benefit cuts if you can't find a job, benefits stopped for three years- yikes!

    I think that's cuts for 3 years after your third continued period of constantly refusing a job though.

    Forced unpaid work? Well its not exactly unpaid if they are getting benefits for it.

    There is potential for this to go balls up, but handled correctly I think there is the potential for quite a fair system.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well, it is either unpaid or it is below the minimum wage...

    And, who gets to decide what job offers a person should be allowed to turn down, one that they can't do, or that is too far away for instance? I can imagine it being applied really horribly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote: »
    And, who gets to decide what job offers a person should be allowed to turn down, one that they can't do, or that is too far away for instance? I can imagine it being applied really horribly.

    I agree. I've got into trouble for turning down a job - one that isn't suitable for me.
    There is potential for this to go balls up, but handled correctly I think there is the potential for quite a fair system.

    There will never be a "fair system". Yes, we do need less type of benefits (there's around 50 different types) but doing it the way they will be, doesn't seem right to me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not everyone can do all jobs. Not talking about university student types who believe sweeping roads is beneath them but those who may have concentration problems being expected to perform repetitive tasks. There will need to be a level of flexibility in this but one which reduces the chances of abuse. And in the case of those that have kids, will the government pay child minding costs? Will 'workers' be allowed to finish early to collect them from school? Will they provide any extra funding for potential travel costs for picking them up if the 'workplace' is further from school than home?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote: »
    Well, it is either unpaid or it is below the minimum wage...

    And, who gets to decide what job offers a person should be allowed to turn down, one that they can't do, or that is too far away for instance? I can imagine it being applied really horribly.

    It'll likely go by their Jobseekers Agreement, which normally states 60-90 minutes travel to work and the types of work people are looking for. So if somebody is not qualified for something, the Jobcentre cannot put them forward for it.

    Currently, if a job is put on the system and the individual does not apply, or if they are booked in to a recruitment event and don't turn up, it goes to appeal. Their benefits can be stopped for up to six months for not applying to this one vacancy (if turned down by appeal)... Currently, if this happens, somebody could claim hardship, which I doubt they could under the new rules.

    What worries me about the forced work is more whether or not they are replacing already existing jobs, or jobs which could be created to give to people who want them. I don't really see the point in saying you'll get housing benefit cut after 12 months if you don't find a job, if the government are going to use up jobs through forced labour.

    Could write loads here... But gotta get to work, so will contribute more later. I work with unemployed people, so feel a lot about this.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    What worries me about the forced work is more whether or not they are replacing already existing jobs, or jobs which could be created to give to people who want them.

    This is what I was talking to Leigh about last night. I'd much rather see this 'workforce' carry out work for voluntary organisations/charities than possibly replacing existing jobs. I think that would be better for the whole 'back to work' ethic. You're not gonna learn much sweeping the roads, cleaning out public toilets or removing graffiti. You may learn some skills helping redecorate an elderly persons home, working in a charity shop or even fetching the lattes for Helen and Jo :)

    As for the minimum wage angle, why not have people work the equivalent number of hours for the benefit they receive.

    I also keep hearing that there's 5 times as many unemployed as there are vacancies. So how exactly is this government gonna find jobs for everyone ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    RubberSkin wrote: »
    You're not gonna learn much sweeping the roads, cleaning out public toilets or removing graffiti.

    You'll learn what Community Service feels like :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    RubberSkin wrote: »
    As for the minimum wage angle, why not have people work the equivalent number of hours for the benefit they receive.

    As a disabled person, I receive a disability premium on top of my basic JSA. Would that mean (even though I'm restricted to the hours I can work) I would have to work more hours than a non-disabled person? Makes no sense.
    Will they provide any extra funding for potential travel costs for picking them up if the 'workplace' is further from school than home?

    Why should they?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    I would have to work more hours than a non-disabled person?

    no idea, dont work for the government
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote: »
    Well, it is either unpaid or it is below the minimum wage...

    That depends entirely on how you decide to play with the numbers. If you've been claiming benefits for two years and then are asked to do a four week, 30 hour a week placement, then 120 hours work for two years worth of benefits is a pretty reasonable hourly rate. And even if you chose not to cut it that way, the less-then-minimum wage argument only works if you're only claiming JSA, which is unlikely if you're long-term jobless.

    I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other about the proposed benefit reforms, nor specifically about telling people they may have to work, but the less-then-minimum wage argument is a seriously weak, if not deliberately disingenuous, argument against it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    One word to say about this:

    Cunts.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think you mean "cuts".

    EDIT: just seen this http://burningourmoney.blogspot.com/2010/11/making-work-pay.html

    The economics of it makes for a compelling argument. Quite apart from the argument which says that people in regular employment have to work for their cash, why shouldn't those on benefits (who are capable of it)? Seems a no-brainer to me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm just amused that everyone thinks there should be an automatic right to be able to sit back and let the government pay your way.

    Yes, there needs to be a safety net but if this ends the practice of entire families being able to live and thrive on the government's money for doing nothing then fine, I'm all for it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't have a problem with the concept of a Universal Benefit, but the whole "forced" work issue makes me feel very uncomfortable.

    So much for minimum wage, this is just cheap labour.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Does this mean David Cameron is reversing the policies of the last Conservative government that caused many tens of thousands of people to be dependent on the welfare state?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    the whole "forced" work issue makes me feel very uncomfortable.

    I wasn't sure, but then Trisha thought it was a good idea, so we can rest assured that it's almost certainly a bad one: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11742681
    So much for minimum wage, this is just cheap labour.

    See my argument above.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That's her audience share gone
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    I'm just amused that everyone thinks there should be an automatic right to be able to sit back and let the government pay your way.

    Where has anyone said that? Or is it right that severely disabled people are forced back into work, where there are currently more people looking for work than there are jobs?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    That's her audience share gone

    This made me laugh :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    Where has anyone said that? Or is it right that severely disabled people are forced back into work, where there are currently more people looking for work than there are jobs?

    Where did I say anything about disabled people?

    And people haven't said it, the reactions of some to the thought that the work shy might be forced up out of their paid for houses indicates that those who do nothing for a living should be kept in the life they've become accustomed to.

    There may not be enough paid employment around to get everyone working, there are certainly enough voluntary organisations who could use the extra staff though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    I'm just amused that everyone thinks there should be an automatic right to be able to sit back and let the government pay your way.

    Yes, there needs to be a safety net but if this ends the practice of entire families being able to live and thrive on the government's money for doing nothing then fine, I'm all for it.
    So what are you going to say to that 30 year old who is about to lose their flat, who can't afford the deposit for a room in a house and probably couldn't find a landlord to take DSS anyway?

    "Oh it's fine you're gonna be made homeless because, y'know... These scroungers..."

    Or the person who has experienced severe mental illness and forced off ESA, who has a four year gap on their CV and who has been unemployed a year? They have to make up their housing benefits by a week's dole, which is only contributing to debt and making them sicker?

    "Well nobody has a right to sit on their arse all day"

    Because anybody who says these reforms are ok because of scroungers, is not seeing the bigger picture. Refugees, people with disabilities, lone parents, people leaving the care system, older people, those leaving prison, young people living away from home, unskilled workers... All are disadvantaged by a hugely competitive market and all will end up punished and at risk of huge debt and homelessness.

    Or in other words... There's no good excuse to open fire in to a crowd of people because a criminal or two may or may not be in there.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The majority of people think welfare is, in principle, a good thing.

    Nobody wants welfare money to be abused.

    That the Tory press makes it seem everyone on welfare is cheating the system makes it easy to slip in reforms "to prevent abuse" which actually undermine welfare in general.

    The people fall for it every time
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    So what are you going to say to that 30 year old who is about to lose their flat, who can't afford the deposit for a room in a house and probably couldn't find a landlord to take DSS anyway?

    "Oh it's fine you're gonna be made homeless because, y'know... These scroungers..."

    Or the person who has experienced severe mental illness and forced off ESA, who has a four year gap on their CV and who has been unemployed a year? They have to make up their housing benefits by a week's dole, which is only contributing to debt and making them sicker?

    "Well nobody has a right to sit on their arse all day"

    Because anybody who says these reforms are ok because of scroungers, is not seeing the bigger picture. Refugees, people with disabilities, lone parents, people leaving the care system, older people, those leaving prison, young people living away from home, unskilled workers... All are disadvantaged by a hugely competitive market and all will end up punished and at risk of huge debt and homelessness.

    Or in other words... There's no good excuse to open fire in to a crowd of people because a criminal or two may or may not be in there.


    You got all that from me saying "yes there needs to be a safety net...."?

    Um ok. Forgive me if I'm pissed off that I have to go out and work all hours god sends to put food on the table and a roof over my head and at the same time see entire families of people housed in bigger, nicer houses, with nicer stuff and it's all paid for by me.

    And no, this is nothing to do with the media, I see it all the time, every day.

    As I said before you twisted it, there has to be a safety net so the 30 something person who has fallen on bad times gets help, so the young lad who is looking after his sick mother gets some cash, e.t.c.

    I'm proud and happy that we have a welfare system in this country that will look after those that need it. The government, and by extension me the tax payer has a duty to look after and care for those who are UNABLE to look after or care for themselves. Not the ones who simply can't be arsed, or who cheat the system and are content living on handouts, I resent them for doing it and I resent you for trying to make me feel guilty about it.

    Nothing is free in this world, someone has to pay. The sooner some people realise that the better.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    You got all that from me saying "yes there needs to be a safety net...."?

    Um ok. Forgive me if I'm pissed off that I have to go out and work all hours god sends to put food on the table and a roof over my head and at the same time see entire families of people housed in bigger, nicer houses, with nicer stuff and it's all paid for by me.
    And what?

    I'm sure there are people who work harder than you and have even less.
    And no, this is nothing to do with the media, I see it all the time, every day.
    Where?

    I come in to contact with unemployed people a lot in my job... Where are all these people with 'big houses' and 'nice stuff'? How do you know these things weren't gifts, or that they hadn't earned them in a previous job? Maybe some of these people have an inheritance?

    I am not saying I have never seen an unemployed person get a nicer house than me (considering I live in a tiny room anyhow), but if you look at unemployed people, especially in London, there's a huge housing issue and most land lords won't take dole.
    As I said before you twisted it,

    Yes, there needs to be a safety net but if this ends the practice of entire families being able to live and thrive on the government's money for doing nothing then fine, I'm all for it.
    I was referring to the second comment, as highlighted.
    I resent them for doing it and I resent you for trying to make me feel guilty about it.
    *Yawn*

    I couldn't give a toss if you feel guilty or not, your feelings are your own. I was pointing out how flippant you came across, about the worst affected because you (appear to) think you're hard done by. Tbh, I don't know your situation at all, but the whole "if it ends scrounging, I support it", which I pointed above, I think, is just harsh.

    Perhaps it was how you worded or maybe I misread.
    Nothing is free in this world, someone has to pay.
    Agreed... It's just a shame in this case, it will be the hardest up an' their kids.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    And what?

    I'm sure there are people who work harder than you and have even less.

    And because of that they deserve tax credits and income support and I don't begrudge them at all.
    Where?

    I come in to contact with unemployed people a lot in my job... Where are all these people with 'big houses' and 'nice stuff'? How do you know these things weren't gifts, or that they hadn't earned them in a previous job? Maybe some of these people have an inheritance?

    I am not saying I have never seen an unemployed person get a nicer house than me (considering I live in a tiny room anyhow), but if you look at unemployed people, especially in London, there's a huge housing issue and most land lords won't take dole.

    I don't know much about London except that space for everyone regardless of income is at a premium. Want an example though? I know a family who have a 6 bedroom house. Biological dad is a career criminal, step-dad has never worked, mum has never worked, kids are all following in the foot steps, house is in a very desirable area. They have done precisely nothing to contribute to society except increase it in number, they're a menace to their neighbours and have been evicted several times form different properties. Inside the house they have a plasma TV, several games consoles and the kids are all wearing designer clothing.
    So ask me again why I shouldn't be resentful? I don't understand how you're not. You've just said you live in a box flat, and see people around you who do nothing but get everything. You're obviously a better person than I if the whole thing just doesn't piss you off.


    I was referring to the second comment, as highlighted.
    . I was pointing out how flippant you came across, about the worst affected because you (appear to) think you're hard done by. Tbh, I don't know your situation at all, but the whole "if it ends scrounging, I support it", which I pointed above, I think, is just harsh.

    Perhaps it was how you worded or maybe I misread.


    Agreed... It's just a shame in this case, it will be the hardest up an' their kids.

    Maybe I was a bit flippant.
    I agree with the welfare system. I agree with it's founding principal that it is a safety net for those who find themselves unable to work for whatever reason and need support.

    I do not, and never will agree with people being able to spend their entire lives on it because they can't be bothered.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    I don't know much about London except that space for everyone regardless of income is at a premium. Want an example though? I know a family who have a 6 bedroom house. Biological dad is a career criminal, step-dad has never worked, mum has never worked, kids are all following in the foot steps, house is in a very desirable area. They have done precisely nothing to contribute to society except increase it in number, they're a menace to their neighbours and have been evicted several times form different properties. Inside the house they have a plasma TV, several games consoles and the kids are all wearing designer clothing.
    I haven't seen this... But would you rather the kids live in a cramped house on a dangerous estate, with no heating?

    Obviously there's an issue there about the culture the kids are growing up in, not just from the family, but from the surroundings (hence an argument against the shortened tenancies on council houses - poor people will end up ghettoised)... At least maybe they'll have something to aspire to.

    How many kids do they have then?
    I don't understand how you're not. You've just said you live in a box flat, and see people around you who do nothing but get everything.
    I don't even have my own flat, it's a room in a house.

    I am not resentful because most of the people I see in work are worse off than me. I can afford to do things I enjoy and that is enough. Probably, cases like what you said are quite rare... Maybe they had too many kids, then they met the council's criteria for over crowding and got moved from social housing to a bigger house? Who knows...

    The system is exploited and that sucks, but it also raises issues of the kids from these back grounds. If you punish the parents, how will the kids suffer?

    Perhaps a cap on rent (as in how much land lords can charge) or building affordable social housing and/or a living wage for the lower paid jobs would begin to be an incentive to get people in to work. Or making companies like Vodafone pay the billions of taxes the owe, to help rebuild the economy.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Want an example though? I know a family who have a 6 bedroom house. .

    you don't like it when we generalise about PCSOs from specific examples.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    So what are you going to say to that 30 year old who is about to lose their flat, who can't afford the deposit for a room in a house and probably couldn't find a landlord to take DSS anyway?

    "Oh it's fine you're gonna be made homeless because, y'know... These scroungers..."

    Or the person who has experienced severe mental illness and forced off ESA, who has a four year gap on their CV and who has been unemployed a year? They have to make up their housing benefits by a week's dole, which is only contributing to debt and making them sicker?

    "Well nobody has a right to sit on their arse all day"

    Because anybody who says these reforms are ok because of scroungers, is not seeing the bigger picture. Refugees, people with disabilities, lone parents, people leaving the care system, older people, those leaving prison, young people living away from home, unskilled workers... All are disadvantaged by a hugely competitive market and all will end up punished and at risk of huge debt and homelessness.

    Or in other words... There's no good excuse to open fire in to a crowd of people because a criminal or two may or may not be in there.

    :heart:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    Or making companies like Vodafone pay the billions of taxes the owe, to help rebuild the economy.

    I was not aware of Vodafone's unpaid tax bill. Could you assist my ignorance with some details ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was not aware of Vodafone's unpaid tax bill. Could you assist my ignorance with some details ?
    Here's a link

    Looks like the government are trying to claw some tax back

    It makes you wonder who else is getting away with not paying their taxes though...

    And if the affluent and big business were paying their taxes, how much we'd be able to save on cuts.

    I don't believe for one moment the money would go to the people who need it, or if I am entirely convinced that the government want more jobs for people either. I see an economic apartheid on the horizon...

    Increasingly people are working part time because that is the way the economy is... There are just not so many full time jobs available (but an increasing number of permanent jobs and slowly but surely, the financial sector is recruiting which may be green shoots for something).

    The benefits which cost the most are tax credits, then housing benefit. Both can be claimed by people who work part time (if you're over 50 and been signing on for over six months, you can get working tax credits for working over 16 hours)... I think that in investing in affordable social housing, you can not only create jobs, but also people will be less dependent on the welfare state for these benefits because they won't be struggling so much to live... Maybe maybe, people can even work part time, claim less and live to a better standard.

    Can't see it happening though... As a mate of mine said "what the government seem to forget is that they should answer to the people, the people don't answer to them"...
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