Universal Credit 'Has Got To Go'

Universal Credit ‘Has Got To Go’, Says Labour’s John McDonnell

“I think most people now are coming to the conclusion it has got to be scrapped.”

Labour has previously called for Universal Credit to be paused and reformed.

But McDonnell said the government’s attempts to shake-up the benefit “haven’t worked” and Universal Credit “is not the safety net that people expect when they need support.

“I think we’re moving to a position now where it’s not sustainable, it will have to go,” he said.

It comes amid reports that Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey has privately warned that families could lose £200 a month.

According to The Times, McVey told fellow cabinet members that the rollouts could result in millions of families losing out on the equivalent of £2,400 a year.

Read more here:

Having just listened to a performance on the BBC News of breathtaking arrogance by Esther McVey, I have little doubt this will swell the petition signatures by a good few thousand.

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The biggest problem is having worked in the community for over 8 years if you give people a lump sum every month a lot of them have no idea how to budget their money. So they don’t pay their rent.

Personally we need to bring in a new curriculum in the schools how to budget on a wage which only comes in once a month.

You cant seriously expect people to go from weekly wage and having your rent paid to once a month and expect them to survive it.

I have always had my money paid monthly as i was on salary so everything is paid what is left is spending money if i have any. ALL my bills are paid via direct debit.

My friend my age has never worked and is on pension and pension credit, and she gets attendance allowance one a month. she simply cant spread her money around and i am constantly bailing her out for food. Its silly amounts too but she cant do it. I have tried to help her.

she has been paid weekly all her life including married life as husband never worked either, so for example if she was put on universal credits i would immediately become her bank, BANK OF FRIEND. thankfully she is a pensioner so that wont happen.

You have to teach budgeting at school. No good suddenly expecting people to cope and i dont mean that in a patronising way, i have worked with people who are pretty savvy but come to money they are hopeless. My husband was an engineer could build anything but jeez if i left the money budget to him we would never have survived he hadn’t got a clue.

Also really the I.T. systems are also at fault as they keep breaking down which is one of the reasons why payments are delayed. Our government IT systems are rubbish, the labour government wasted over 12 billion on a universal IT system for NHS which was never going to work and is still not working and being scrapped.

This change should benefit everyone, but it will be flawed as we are dealing with humans sadly who have been used to doing things one way. Its great on paper but…

It is hard to juggle money every month, and if something happens like you need a washing machine repair etc, your budgeting can go up the creek without a paddle.

Families need more support perhaps a course to help them alongside. Its not easy really not easy … but how can they go backwards it would cost more. what do Labour suggest? lets give it all away. I wish. I worked all my life from 14, and i get no help, even my PIP care payment has to pay for my direct payments. I survive i have too.but then i am used to budgeting.

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The “biggest problem” is not a lack of education, discipline or some esoteric moral failing on the part of the individual. The Daily Mail, Express, the benefit-bashing ‘poverty porn’ TV shows would like you to think it always is.

Universal Credit has been intrinsically designed purposefully to reduce benefit income to the bare minimum, and then some.

It is a key authoritarian hard right Conservative policy initiative to shrink the state alongside the financial starvation of healthcare, policing and schooling - manipulating society into ever-widening inequality between those who can afford to buy better and those left to scrape along the pond floor. This government are trying very hard to make us into USA 2.0.

As an aside, we know that severe and enduring poverty creates ill health and crime, thereby increasing the load on the NHS, police and judiciary. Doesn’t it make more economic and ethical sense to pay liveable benefit levels and avoid expenditure from those budgets and the accompanying human suffering?

All the politically neutral research evidence and individual experiential evidence tells us blatantly and inarguably that Universal Credit harms our citizens to the extent that the UN have already identified that as disabled people our human rights are being breached.

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Universal Credit affects WORKING PEOPLE and not just those who don’t work.

Also claimants can still opt to pay their rent from source or pay by direct debt.

One problem has always been SOME benefit claimants have mental health problems or substance abuse issues so they particularly cannot prioritise and/or make bad choices instead of paying bills, but there’s also plenty of folk who don’t claim benefits who are in the same position.

Another problem is that so many UC claimants are under-employed and earn very low wages, so they either can’t get more hours or can’t work more hours, so saving money for a rainy day is a pipe dream, then when their landlord puts up their rent and their UC has to be adjusted or an unexpected bill comes in they’re once again in a mess and may borrow from Peter to pay Paul.


The pressure group 38 Degrees organised a petition (and the McVey has not paid a lot of attention) so they are organising a "Mail your MP"campaign ahead of Wednesday. Details:


Thanks Geoff,

Email sent to mine but he is a Tory so won’t hold out much hope of his support!

Since the above …
38 Degrees are organising an emergency open letter to McVey. Go via their website:


Well it seems the government are delaying UC again. The date for all claimants to have been moved to the new, unworkable, unfair benefit has now become 2023. Only 6 years late and a few hundred million pounds overspent.

Horror stories continue to emerge from new claimants waiting and waiting for their first payments.

The DWP/HMRC are digging themselves ever deeper holes. Everyone of the poor souls who are being forced to claim UC have my sincere sympathy. And actually, all the frontline staff who are having to try to deliver this ridiculous unworkable benefit/credit also have my sympathy. I wouldn’t do their job for any money.

Just what we needed. A delayed transition is better than a foolhardy mismanaged mass migration. Better still would be scrapping it.

But supposing it were now to be scrapped? What on earth/ how on earth is it supposed to be fixed? Thousands on UC while others remain on the old benefits and tax credits! What could replace it?


UPDATE: From Benefits and Work


"If you are waiting to be forced off ESA and onto UC, then the news this week offered a small crumb of comfort. Leaked documents reveal that the timetable for transferring claimants has been moved. Testing of migration won’t even begin until July 2019 and large scale transfers of 95,000 claimants each month won’t start until November 2020.

This means that, unless you are one of the unfortunate 10,000 (out of around four million) who are part of the initial trial, then you have at least two years before you will be forced onto UC. And, as the process is not now expected to end until December 2023, it could be up to five years. In addition, the leaked documents also say that cash is being sought to continue to pay income support and ESA for two weeks after a claim for UC has been made, rather than stopping payments immediately."

More reports on UC:

Universal Credit is a failure by design and never ever could or can work

Universal Credit CANNOT work even in theory.

"The entire premise of UC is to link up the wage and tax system (HMRC) with the benefit system (DWP). If you earn less one month you get more welfare (benefits and tax credits.) If you earn more the less welfare you get is the theory.

making work pay

Sounds simple enough doesn’t it yet UC cannot work because of its rigidity of design and ineptitude of its cycle of monthly payments. UC is paid on the same date each month and has 12 such payments each year each requiring a separate decision based on an assessment period of the month before each payment and that is the problem.

If you are paid weekly then you receive 52 and in some years 53 payments and so the UC 12 monthly payment system means that in 4 of the 12 months you have received 5 weekly payments and are thus highly likely to receive no UC payment in those 4 months as the rigid system assumes you have been paid 5 times and 25% more in wages.

In 2019 you will be paid 5 times in March, May, August and November and so the welfare (benefits such as Housing Benefit and tax credits) you will NOT receive in 4 months in 2019. Good luck with paying your rent or for food on your table or even keeping your job as you cant afford the travel to work costs … all caused by the incompetently designed UC system!

If you are paid fortnightly then in 2019 you will not receive any UC payments in March and August on the same basis (and note the same happens whichever pay date you have).

If you are paid 4-weekly you will not receive any UC in November 2019 and if you are paid on the last working day of the month there will be two months in 2019 that you do not receive any UC as I discussed here last week.

The designers of Universal Credit designed in this incompetence and the policy cannot work and make the correct payments whether you are paid weekly, fortnightly, 4-weekly or on the last day of the month. This means the oft-heard argument that UC is fine in theory and the problem is just with implementation is bollocks and a known lie.

Apart from the increase in misery, poverty, stress and eviction and repossession this pig’s earhole of a system will cause this system will also cause huge administration costs as UC has been designed to make around 100 million decisions each year (8m+ claimants each having 12 yearly decisions) and so UC WILL make millions of wrong decisions each year and each of these will need to be corrected and each one of them is appealable.

The taxpayer cost of putting these decisions right will cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions each year … and all because UC is incapable of getting decisions correctly due to its design."

Universal Credit does not work


And then on top of all this, they have messed up with the transfer of Incapacity benefit to ESA a lot should have been put on income-related ESA and wrongly put on contribution based ESA, I think I am one of them.OMG, what a mess.

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Yes Mrs J, the migration to ESA is another costly mess. I too might be one of the 180,000 as I used to get IB and SDA.

More updates and comments on UC:

Scrapheap beckons for Universal Credit

"John Major has “bluntly warned” that pushing ahead “could lead to a repeat of the poll tax debacle of the early 1990s, which saw riots against the Conservative government”.

The evidence of impending disaster has led Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader who came up with the idea of UC, to call for a further £2bn to be pumped in to save it. Yet “the chances of universal credit working well with more money are slim”, says Phillip Collins in The Times. Its proponents should have been aware similar schemes have been considered several times by previous governments and rejected as immensely complex to implement.

On the other hand, “the chances of it working without are zero”. So given the prime minister is unwilling to put more money into it, logic suggests the best option is “to take the pain of the sunk cost and lost time and send the scheme for scrap”."

Money Week

I didn’t even realize that all us on ESA were going to have to go on to universal credit !! I start to claim my state pension in 2024 and I just hope its delayed until then. I know at the moment its delayed until 2023 what a nightmare. I am not as worried about me as I am for my daughter who has a disabled child and she will be having to transfer from Income support and carers allowance.

We’re not all being transferred. It’s those people on income related ESA who will eventually be transferred. People on the contributions based ESA (which I suspect you are on) will not be transferred. Your daughter, on the other hand, being on income support and presumably child tax credit, will be transferred at some point over the next few years to UC. But as the timescale for transferring existing claimants has been altered very radically this week, it could even be years before she is transferred.


Thanks for that Sue. I didn’t realize that it was those on income-related ESA that are going to be transferrd to UC, your right I am on contribution based ESA.

UPDATE: UNIVERSAL CREDIT Universal Credit Payment Waiting Time Cut To Three Weeks In DWP Climbdown. The £1bn changes to Universal Credit include: A claimant’s old benefit - income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance and ESA, or Income Support - will continue for 2 weeks in order to bridge the gap between payments. The one-month deadline to claim will be extended to three months. Advance loans to help people transition on to UC will only be clawed back at 30% of benefits per month, not 40%. The payback period will extend from 12 to 16 months from October 2021. Small business owners who move onto UC will get a new one-year “grace period” exempting them from the “Minimum Income Floor”. The policy of disregarding £2,500-a-month of surplus earnings (protecting people who have fluctuating wages) will extend from 2019 to 2020. Universal Credit Payment Waiting Time Cut To Three Weeks In DWP Climbdown | HuffPost UK