I’ve got £3 to last me for a week. Universal Credit strikes again

Wow I can’t believe that it’s Thursday again. It’s definitely a lot cooler out there so wrap up if your going out.

The cooler weather also highlights the inability for thousands of people to choose between heating and eating. Of course the government don’t want to rectify this, I’m convinced that they’re trying to kill us off.

Today was a mix of differing problems and as usual I will not be naming anyone. I hope that you understand why.

The first thing that I did today was to hand out the food parcels. We had six and within five minutes there was only one left.

The remaining food parcel was taken by a woman struggling to get by. She was claiming Universal Credit and unbeknownst to her the DWP had shut her claim down without telling her.

The DWP claim that she hadn’t signed her claimant commitment but she was adamant that she had done. This resulted in zero consultation with her and now she’s having to appeal this.

The DWP however have told her that she has to make a new claim for universal credit which means that she’s going to have to wait at least five weeks for her first payment.

She also has children and is understandably concerned about how she’s going to feed them.

Don’t expect any sympathy from the DWP though. They’ve got a cast iron weight instead of a heart.

It never get better hearing people’s DWP stories. But thank goodness we were there to help her. She’s going to appeal the DWPs decision.

I then had a conversation with a chap that I usually speak to every week. He told me that he had waited for over a hour for the bus to get to Ashton.

I can confirm that this is the norm in Tameside at the moment. Lots of our bus routes have been taken off and the ones that remain cost a lot more.

I’ve spoken to elderly and disabled people who have been housebound as a result of this. The bus used to stop right outside their houses and they can’t manage the walk to the nearest bus stop. It’s too far for them to walk etc.

If anyone from the Tameside area is reading this please join in with the Better Bus campaign.

I then spotted a woman leaving the Jobcentre. I offered her a leaflet and immediately she told me that she hates universal credit. I asked her why and she went into her pocket and got out some coins amounting to approximately £3. She said “This is all that I have until the end of next week. How on earth am I going to manage on this amount of money. ‘

Of course I advised her and signposted her to local organisations etc where she can get a food parcel from because we had ran out of them.

This is the reality of life whilst claiming Universal credit and its the same for thousands of people.

Far too many people have become accepting of this though. Many are resigned to their fate, they know that they’re going to be hungry and they think that no one cares about them.

Lots of us do care though, this shouldn’t be happening but we all to our best to help people.

We signposted quite a few people to CAB for advice and once again people having trouble with their council tax payments was mentioned. The poorest shouldn’t be made to bear the brunt of this.

We then spoke to a person that had recently been declared fit for work. They’ve got numerous disabilities and illnesses but don’t expect the DWP to care. They’re going to appeal this decision but in the meantime he was told by his DWP advisor that he’s no longer allowed to hand fit notes in.

Apparently the DWP know better than a doctor and a specialist doctor. They want everyone to look for none existent jobs despite the fact that many aren’t able to work.

As regular readers will know this is far from unusual but it never gets easier does it.

I advised a woman who’s son is being moved over from DLA to PIP.

We had a lovely conversation with a man who’s being sent on what feels like constant courses ran by and on behalf of the DWP. The latest course that they’ve been told to attend or be sanctioned is supposed to motivate people.

It’s a bit hard motivating people who are hungry and who’ve got the threat of being sanctioned hanging over their head. But hey every person that attends these courses are worth a fortune to the DWP. Not only does the DWP receive funding for these courses they also pay the providers quite a lot of money per person attending.

Wonderful isn’t it… Not. We can never forget that we’re just a number to them and we can and are exploited by the DWP at their whim.

We then had a conversation with a man that’s been having problems with his employer.

His employer is totally abusing the fact that there’s so many people looking for work. He pays people less than their long term staff. When people complain they tell them that they can walk, it doesn’t matter because they can fill the position straight away.

There’s far too many awful employers like this and it’s about time that something was done about this isn’t it.

Today we helped lots of people, provided support and gave out food parcels. We’ve been doing this for around six years now and it’s getting worse.

Please read and share my blog. Tweet it as well, email it to your local Tory MP.

I’d like to thank Gordon for all of his help today. I’d also like to thank you all for supporting the campaign and my blog.

This has become a full time job and every penny helps me to continue with both the campaign and the blog.

We’ll be returning next week and I’ll be blogging as usual.

9 thoughts on “I’ve got £3 to last me for a week. Universal Credit strikes again”

  1. I’ve had this twice where they close the account the first time was on my birthday 23rd December last year and the 2nd time was 3 months ago when I got in touch nobody knew what was going on as they said there records show I was still getting it bit I wasn’t so I went back on and had to reapply so I was short on my rent and I was up the shit with council tax and that is an ongoing thing for about 2 years now.

    I hate it, it is soul destroying.


  2. It’s a total nightmare. I suffered at the hands of PIP and it’s absolutely fucked my health. I’m flared up to the point I contemplate the worst things.
    We need to stand together and fight together.


  3. For casual workers being exploited by the gig economy, they need to get organised and join a union, any union is better than none, but the mainstream unions are a bit too expensive, bureaucratic and not really interested in poorly paid workers as they can only afford to pay low subs – and even the lowest subs tend to be a relatively large sum of money for someone on a zero hour casual contract. A better choice would be one of the smaller, industrial type unions that have sprung up in recent years, mainly as a response to the increasingly casualised workforce. These unions specialise in representing the precariat, and are outside of the TUC – unions like the IWGB – Independent Workers of Great Britain, the UVM – United Voices of the World, or the mummy of them all, the IWW – Industrial Workers of the World, which isn’t a newcomer,(it’s been around since 1905) and is the cheapest to join, at a nominal pound a month if you’re unemployed and then graded rates if you’re in employment. They are all run by their members, and everyone has a vote, on everything!

    It might seem like an extreme to got to, but if you’re a union member you far less likely to have trouble with your employer, and far less likely to be bullied or mistreated, or even sacked as most employers of this kind tend to back down when challenged by a worker who has the backing of a union rep. No matter what any employer says, you have the legal right to join a union of your choice, regardless of whether they ‘recognise’ the union or not – they’ll soon recgonise it if they end up facing an employment tribunal, or in court for breaches of Health & Safety, harassment or bullying etc. Oh, and union members also tend to be better paid, as a union will be able to advise on what your legal rights are, and help you fight for them – such as in the case where, I assume, casual workers are being paid less than the regular, contracted workers, for doing exactly the same job – which would be unlawful under the rules governing work of equal value – but that would require a union to fight, and maybe a tribunal, which could be fought by an individual, but really needs the support of a union that knows what it’s doing.


  4. £3 to last til the end of next week, I know the feeling and I’m not even on Universal Credit but trying to survive on JSA is hard enough. I’ve just got through this week somehow on nothing. I’ve run out of food apart from some porridge, I got a free sandwich today at the foodbank, and a kind lady up the road gave me some cat food, and a bloke I was talking to outside the Jobcentre gave me a cigarette. Thankfully I get my JSA in the morning but then the whole process starts allover again, trying to spread a little amount of money in several directions. I’m already a week behind with my Water payment, and my phone payment went out of the Bank on Tuesday making me overdrawn by £6.50, and I don’t have an overdraft facility so am praying that I don’t get hit with a Bank charge or I’m really screwed. The Jobcentre are sending me on yet another stupid course, 3 days a week for 6 weeks, run by Interserve, and apparently it includes advice about Budgeting, how patronising is that? How can anyone budget when there’s nothing to budget with? UK Benefits are underpaid by at least 40% to begin with so it’s a downright cheek to imply that people are skint because they don’t know how to budget properly, as if it’s our own fault!


    1. I have been locked out of twitter for some reason? Be back a.s.a.p. x

      On Thu, 17 Oct 2019 at 16:16, The poor side of life wrote:

      > trev commented: “£3 to last til the end of next week, I know the feeling > and I’m not even on Universal Credit but trying to survive on JSA is hard > enough. I’ve just got through this week somehow on nothing. I’ve run out of > food apart from some porridge, I got a free sandw” >


      1. Sorry oldredcarp, I don’t understand your comment, I’m not on Twitter and I don’t know who you are.


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