Ok, I’ve been writing this blog for a long while now, but not as long as I have been holding demonstrations. It’s hard work, stressful and can seem like its never ending. For years it seemed few wanted to listen, we have an awful ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude in this country, and it seemed that it was acceptable that vulnerable people were being targeted by a cruel and heartless system called Universal Credit.
Let’s get it right. Universal Credit doesn’t work, it’s purposely designed not to. What it is designed to do is to punish a person for being poor or disabled, even elderly. It is not designed to help. You can more or less take that thought out of your head, therefore taking away any expectation of having a system that supports you. It doesn’t, isn’t designed to and never will do for as long as it exists.
It’s ok when you arent caught up in the system or see the reality of the system to say ok, let’s pause it we can make it better. As long as this government is in power, and as long as this system exists this won’t happen, and it won’t be allowed to happen either.
Universal Credit is by default intended to be complicated to access because they don’t want people to access it. They want people off the unemployment register by any means possible, hence the difficulty applying. This also explains the extraordinarily long waiting time. It’s this long for a reason and that reason being is to put people off from applying. You’re telling me that they didn’t invest an extortionate amount of money creating this to create so called mistakes straight away. This leads me into telling you that there are no mistakes in the Universal Credit system. There never has been because it has all been created purposely and they only attempt to change something and call it a mistake because they’ve been caught out, they know that they’ve gone too far so have to appease the opposition.
Universal Credit is regarded a massive success by the government, because it is in their eyes. Remember this.
However this doesnt stop the cruelty. For over 4 years now I, and others have stood in cold weather talking to people, helping them, feeding them and even clothing them. Why? Because Universal Credit quite honestly has killed people, starved people and has driven people to suicide. The DWP staff often don’t have a clue about the rules, maybe some do and there are some good advisors out there, kudos to you if you are reading this and are one of them. Respect to you for keeping strong.
However the dark side of Universal Credit lurks behind any good advisor, because in the end the target driven, punishing system continues to put pressure on advisors to implement wrongful decisions towards claimants, and some don’t mind doing it.
I really don’t see how it would be possible to fix a system such as this, when it is designed by default to not work, to punish people for their poverty. The rules are impossible to keep, nevermind keep on top of because they are designed to fail people and the DWP changes the goalposts all the time.
Because the rules are so cruel and pernicious many vulnerable people have died. Every day, and every week I say both to myself and outside the Jobcentre ‘How many deaths will it take for anyone to take enough notice to make this a priority?’
And yes, I no longer see people because they have taken their own life’s. That will never leave me, a system so cruel that no one is punished when a life is lost, no one held really accountable. In the instances where there is a coroners report, the DWP and government just shrug their shoulders, put their fingers in their ears and more or less say ‘We can’t hear you’. They do this because they arent being held accountable.
I’m a member of the Labour Party, and I’m fully supportive of Jeremy Corbyn, he knows this, but I must ask him to rethink the pause and fix idea for Universal Credit. I have reasons for this.
Every pause so far has been ignored, our complaints about this have been ignored. When the government get the whiff of a suggestion of a pause being suggested by the opposition, they speed up the roll out and ensure that everything is done anyway.
We need a clear message to be sent to the government. We need to STOP the Universal Credit roll out and reform it completely, even change the name and create a new system similar to the old one that has none of the cruel elements of Universal Credit. Because whilst Universal Credit exists then cruelty will exist. It’s doing the governments job perfectly for them.
Whilst you might not agree with me, please try to understand my reasons for my saying this. I’m very well versed on Universal Credit four years of experience have ensured this. I’m also well educated on the governments tactics, I study them because ultimately they’ve become my enemy, and I’m not stupid either. Campaigners like myself arent stupid. We often know legislation and how things work better than some cabinet MPs.
I told the man that was told today that he wasn’t entitled to claim Universal Credit or any benefit by his so called advisor when he clearly is and will now be doing so, because the system wasn’t working for him.
I told the elderly couple, that they shouldnt have been called in for an appointment, that the system is cruel. one of which was disabled that had been called into the Jobcentre because someone had reported him for working whilst claiming ESA. He hadn’t of course, he’s unable to do so. This system has created a neighbourhood spy system, where a person is reported for no reason except that the government and the media have portrayed people like this gentleman to be a scrounger therefore undeserving,
I comforted the older people, who should be enjoying their retirement that they were being wrongfully treated because the system has been created to punish them.
I spoke to the young mothers with very young babies and told them that they shouldn’t have to be under the thumb of a cruel system that won’t allow them to spend time with their young babies, instead they have to stick to the Jobcentres harsh regime.
We handed out six food parcels to people to feed people, to basically keep them alive. People are dying a lot because of these reforms, but many aren’t being reported in the news.
Universal Credit represents everything that is wrong with this world. The government has been given full reign to target the poorest and most vulnerable, made them a target of hate for the media and some mainstream newspapers. No one has been held accountable and responsible for this and it is about time that they were.
We need to stop this system and stop it asap, because how many more deaths will it take? And lets get back a fair, non punishing system that actually helps people. Because help is what people need not punishment. Let the tax avoiding companies and people be punished not the innocent people that have been punished far too much.
I’m writing this blog from my winter office which is Ikea I can get free wifi and a free brew. Winter is an expensive time for many of us, thousands are making the choice of heating or eating. We can’t just put a sticking plaster over this and play platitudes. We need to challenge this as much as we can do.
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21 thoughts on “We need to stop Universal Credit. How many deaths will it take?”
Hi Charlotte, im Anthony Dhadwal the senior press officer at British Association of Social Workers. Just want to use some of your quotes on your recent blog on Universal Credit to bolster our argument in an article we are doing about how it is damaging society. Can you please email me or call me to tell me it’s okay and/or to discuss further? email@example.com / 07917897454
Hi course I’ll email you now
It’s ok to use might be better to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Universal Credit Full Service is being rolled out on the Wirral in 3 days. The foodbank told the authorities it will need about 17 per cent extra food. And the Government just carries on. To give people Universal Credit during the winter is conscious cruelty. The Tories are using a postcode lottery to divide opposition to this universal disaster. I’ve voted for Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader twice, but I am really disappointed with the pause and fix policy. Single parents, the sick, the self-employed, the part-time, the children and the jobless are all for the chop and that’s before sanctions kick in. It isn’t going to simplify anything- people will still have to claim PIP and/or help with their council tax separately. I wouldn’t mind so much but some of the people implementing the policy in the jobcentre will be affected by it themselves- they’ve been claiming tax credits after all. Why do we hurt each other because rich and powerful people tell us to? There comes a time when we have to say enough is enough. I’m going to keep voting Labour, but I know in my heart that this complex and callous policy can’t be ‘fixed.’ A Universal Basic Income is becoming more necessary by the day and it’s time all of us organised as best we can.
Where will those who’s local JC closes go to sign etc. King’s Lynn is miles from any other JC. Norwich is a 2 hour journey if you are lucky as is Thetford. Thetford is due for closure too. If all of it moves to Norwich or even Peterborough it will be SANCTION CENTRAL.
So what happens if you live in a rural area such as the rural areas of Yorkshire-Suffolk-Devon-Cornwall and Norfolk. You have a bus service once a day and pants Broadband. You can’t afford to run a car. You have 2-3 children. You work 2 hours a day in the village shop. Your pay is £7.20 an hour. Your husband is a farm hand working 40 hours a week for £8.50 an hour. You get working tax and child tax credits. You have an interview at your local Jobcentre @ 16:30. The bus from the village is at 10:00 and comes back at 15:00. There is no rail station. THIS IS JUST A SCENARIO. What would the DWP do if there was NO PUBLIC TRANSPORT at the times they want you to attend. Sure as hell is hot as is UC they will not pay for a taxi. Your nearest Jobcentre is 15 miles away. I am actually thinking of one village I know near Downham Market in Norfolk (The Jobcentre there closed sometime ago) and is now in King’s Lynn. I am lucky I don’t live in this area anymore. I live in an inner city area (Through Need) and I have a JCP nearby. I was placing this scenario for those that live in rural areas and HAVE NO ACCESS to public transport
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Exactly my friend if they don’t attend they get sanctioned. It’s awful
the Jobcentre’s answer to that might be to offer you a cheap/free bicycle, but that’s no good if you live in steep hills like the Pennines & haven’t ridden a bicycle for 40 years! They mentioned it to me a couple of years ago but I said you must be joking.
Plus also Fincham in Norfolk. Who ever said Norfolk was flat lied. It’s almost a 1 in 1
PETITION TO ABOLISH UNIVERSAL CREDIT
Thanks! I’ve just signed it.
Yep, get shot of the whole thing. I do wonder though had UC been introduced in a Big Bang the way that tax credit were, whether the true magnitude of it’s cruelty would have been grasped a lot more quickly and more people would be realising that actually this government will be coming for them.
The phased roll-out is allowing the Torys to perpetuate the myth that the horror stories relate to a few isolated incidents of teething troubles. FFS I had lost my baby teeth and grown new ones in the time this system has taken. My general attitude is if the torys say something have a bloody good look at the semantics.
Absolutely true Charlotte. There are no mistakes in Universal Credit. It was carefully designed, in detail, right from the start. It is misleading for commentators to pretend as many do, that this is all some sort of unfortunate mistake. There is no mistake, Universal Credit was designed to prevent ‘lifestyle benefits’, to deter and to control claimants. And lets face it, its working.
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Reblogged this on sdbast.
There’s a petition to scrap Universal Credit on Change.org but appears that no one has signed it yet, I just tried but it won’t work on my phone so I’ll try again in the Library tomorrow. I would post the link but don’t know how on this phone but if you Google it you should be able to find it.
I just signed it.
And here is a Parliamentary petition to abolish Universal Credit
Oops, sorry, forgot the link:
I completely agree, Universal Credit is the over-ambitious workings of an unhinged egotistical madman, i.e. IDS. It is fundamentally flawed, punitive, & unworkable. It should be scrapped altogether, and it’s time Labour said so. Never mind agreeing with it “in principle”, chuck it out! Universal Credit is a universal shambles, & a disaster for the people on the receiving end.
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