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Universal Credit New Thread.complete Disaster.

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I'd like some help with a fact-check from the HPC hive-mind please. During debates on TV I've been sick of hearing "UC is going to make people £2,000 a year worse off!", WITHOUT context.

If you were previously gifted £10,000/year of benefits and then this changed to £8,000/year, this 2K worse off is serious.

At the other end of the scale, if you were gifted £40,000/year of benefits  and this then changed to £38,000/year, this 2K worse off is NOT so serious, and you should never have been given that much in the first place.

The Labour politicians never shout "my constituent's benefits are being cut from £40K to only £38K!". They are completely silent on the starting amount before the cut.

Please can someone point me to where this overly-emotional "£2,000 a year worse off!" claim comes from? I rather suspect it's way more towards the £40K in benefits end of the scale, and I want to have the figure ready for when it's discussed at work :)

 

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Now I may be slightly late to the party on this one, but just noticed that Universal Credit introduces the (previously applied to JSA, but not tax credits) limits on savings, so benefit is reduced with savings of over £6,000 and stopped with savings of over £16,000. Now clearly this is going to make saving for a deposit somewhat more challenging. It probably won't have an immediate effect, given the glacial roll out of UC, I'm almost expecting them to abandon migration and just do it for new claims/change in circumstance. But over time, given there are over 5 million households claiming tax credits it might start to eat away at demand. Possibly more noticeable in cheaper areas outside of London where people earning say £20-30k, particularly with a tax credit top up can reasonably expect to buy.

 

 

 

Switching to means testing for these benefits is massively significant.  

Another big UC change for those that have pumped out kids for the tax credits is that both parents now have to work. You cannot have one parent working 16 hours a week with the other sitting at home watching Jeremy Kyle. They BOTH have to get out there or get sanctioned. I fecking love UC. It is going to be a huge shock to some families I know. They have no marketable skills. Only any good at reproduction and working the system. Tax credits have been like reverse eugenics. 

Edited by Giraffe

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27 minutes ago, Giraffe said:

 

 

 

Switching to means testing for these benefits is massively significant.  

Another big UC change for those that have pumped out kids for the tax credits is that both parents now have to work. You cannot have one parent working 16 hours a week with the other sitting at home watching Jeremy Kyle. They BOTH have to get out there or get sanctioned. I fecking love UC. It is going to be a huge shock to some families I know. They have no marketable skills. Only any good at reproduction and working the system. Tax credits have been like reverse eugenics. 

LOL

Popcorn time for you

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14 hours ago, mrtickle said:

I'd like some help with a fact-check from the HPC hive-mind please. During debates on TV I've been sick of hearing "UC is going to make people £2,000 a year worse off!", WITHOUT context.

If you were previously gifted £10,000/year of benefits and then this changed to £8,000/year, this 2K worse off is serious.

At the other end of the scale, if you were gifted £40,000/year of benefits  and this then changed to £38,000/year, this 2K worse off is NOT so serious, and you should never have been given that much in the first place.

The Labour politicians never shout "my constituent's benefits are being cut from £40K to only £38K!". They are completely silent on the starting amount before the cut.

Please can someone point me to where this overly-emotional "£2,000 a year worse off!" claim comes from? I rather suspect it's way more towards the £40K in benefits end of the scale, and I want to have the figure ready for when it's discussed at work :)

 

I once went through the Camden Council website "how much am I entitled to claim" page for exactly this reason about 3+ years ago. I can't find this page now as it appears to have been replaced by some UC stuff. I found a single mum with 2 kids working 16 hours a week was entitled to (allowance, housing contribute, kids allowance, tax credits) just shy of £40k in benefits.

I don't necessarily think this is too much to give a single mum to raise two kids in London. I'm sure they would have a pretty uncomfortable life on that amount. However, that figure cemented my opinion that parents working typical and productive jobs trying to raise children in London had become a twisted joke. 

There needs to be a discussion about whether it is reasonable for the state to support the raising of children in London when living costs are so extortionate versus most of the country. My feelings are if you have children in London and need benefits you should be required to move somewhere cheaper to be entitled to claim. 

Edited by bushblairandbrown

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The current mess  is where social and economic policy has led us. The benefits system is a response to a society with large numbers of single parent households and skilled/semi skilled manufacturing jobs going overseas. New Labour resigned themselves to all of this, and used tax credits to fill the holes in the low value service economy we have now. Gordon brown slyly called them tax credits(instead of the more accurate benefits) and made sure eligibility extended far enough to make it electorally impossible for the tories to ditch them. 

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1 hour ago, bushblairandbrown said:

There needs to be a discussion about whether it is reasonable for the state to support the raising of children in London when living costs are so extortionate versus most of the country. My feelings are if you have children in London and need benefits you should be required to move somewhere cheaper to be entitled to claim. 

I tend to agree with that. There is no need for people to live in London when they can't afford to. I, personally, would hate to live in London and probably couldn't afford to anyway.

Also, if London is such a wealthy place then let the free market sort it out. If Londoners want good teachers, nurses and bins emptied regularly then they can pay for it either by paying privately or by paying higher property taxes so the council can pay higher wages.

Edited by Captain Kirk
rearraged it

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2 hours ago, bushblairandbrown said:

I once went through the Camden Council website "how much am I entitled to claim" page for exactly this reason about 3+ years ago. I can't find this page now as it appears to have been replaced by some UC stuff. I found a single mum with 2 kids working 16 hours a week was entitled to (allowance, housing contribute, kids allowance, tax credits) just shy of £40k in benefits.

I don't necessarily think this is too much to give a single mum to raise two kids in London. I'm sure they would have a pretty uncomfortable life on that amount. However, that figure cemented my opinion that parents working typical and productive jobs trying to raise children in London had become a twisted joke. 

There needs to be a discussion about whether it is reasonable for the state to support the raising of children in London when living costs are so extortionate versus most of the country. My feelings are if you have children in London and need benefits you should be required to move somewhere cheaper to be entitled to claim. 

Do not agree.....London has never been a place where only the working rich can live.... gentrification is a sad a sorry state of affairs.....pushing the poor into other areas that already have their own fair share of poor.....London councils are some of the richest in the country......no rent or debt to pay, London is the cheapest place in the country to live, water, CT, IT, transport, choice of food and facilities available to its residents cheapest in the country.....why create suffering to Londoners when they didn't ask for such high inflation of land and buildings when once you couldn't give it away.....😉

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19 hours ago, mrtickle said:

I'd like some help with a fact-check from the HPC hive-mind please. During debates on TV I've been sick of hearing "UC is going to make people £2,000 a year worse off!", WITHOUT context.

If you were previously gifted £10,000/year of benefits and then this changed to £8,000/year, this 2K worse off is serious.

At the other end of the scale, if you were gifted £40,000/year of benefits  and this then changed to £38,000/year, this 2K worse off is NOT so serious, and you should never have been given that much in the first place.

The Labour politicians never shout "my constituent's benefits are being cut from £40K to only £38K!". They are completely silent on the starting amount before the cut.

Please can someone point me to where this overly-emotional "£2,000 a year worse off!" claim comes from? I rather suspect it's way more towards the £40K in benefits end of the scale, and I want to have the figure ready for when it's discussed at work :)

 

I think the 'average' amount claimants get for the stuff that's being rolled into UC (WTC/CTC/HB etc) is around £10k/year, this was based on the no inflation indexing 'costing' them around £200-250 and inflation was about 2.3%.

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9 hours ago, bushblairandbrown said:

I once went through the Camden Council website "how much am I entitled to claim" page for exactly this reason about 3+ years ago. I can't find this page now as it appears to have been replaced by some UC stuff. I found a single mum with 2 kids working 16 hours a week was entitled to (allowance, housing contribute, kids allowance, tax credits) just shy of £40k in benefits.

I don't necessarily think this is too much to give a single mum to raise two kids in London. I'm sure they would have a pretty uncomfortable life on that amount. However, that figure cemented my opinion that parents working typical and productive jobs trying to raise children in London had become a twisted joke. 

There needs to be a discussion about whether it is reasonable for the state to support the raising of children in London when living costs are so extortionate versus most of the country. My feelings are if you have children in London and need benefits you should be required to move somewhere cheaper to be entitled to claim. 

Absolutely, I agree 100%.

But at the same time, I also take issue with concept the "it's ok to gift someone £40 in benefits" idea, even if it's outside London; and i'm not discussing how comfortable it should be. I'm discussing the principle that the vast majority of people who work FULL TIME don't earn anywhere near that much. So I believe that it is utterly perverse and unfair on full time single workers to give someone else that much money for working just TWO measly days per week.

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10 hours ago, bushblairandbrown said:

I once went through the Camden Council website "how much am I entitled to claim" page for exactly this reason about 3+ years ago. I can't find this page now as it appears to have been replaced by some UC stuff. I found a single mum with 2 kids working 16 hours a week was entitled to (allowance, housing contribute, kids allowance, tax credits) just shy of £40k in benefits.

I don't necessarily think this is too much to give a single mum to raise two kids in London. I'm sure they would have a pretty uncomfortable life on that amount. However, that figure cemented my opinion that parents working typical and productive jobs trying to raise children in London had become a twisted joke. 

There needs to be a discussion about whether it is reasonable for the state to support the raising of children in London when living costs are so extortionate versus most of the country. My feelings are if you have children in London and need benefits you should be required to move somewhere cheaper to be entitled to claim. 

Well lets frame this against people wotking.

Uk mexn wage is 28k. Keeping it simple, theyll pay about 8k in payroll taxes - employee and employer.

That 40k of benefits sucks up payroll tax take of 8 average workers. Thats insane.

To that 40k of benefits youve nhs costs and schooling -  5k kid head.

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14 hours ago, bushblairandbrown said:

I once went through the Camden Council website "how much am I entitled to claim" page for exactly this reason about 3+ years ago. I can't find this page now as it appears to have been replaced by some UC stuff. I found a single mum with 2 kids working 16 hours a week was entitled to (allowance, housing contribute, kids allowance, tax credits) just shy of £40k in benefits.

That is not true though. I put the numbers into a calculator and it came out with benefits of just over £20k.

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52 minutes ago, NuBrit said:

That is not true though. I put the numbers into a calculator and it came out with benefits of just over £20k.

Unless you know exactly what numbers were put in, to which page in which year, I don't think it's fair of you to accuse @bushblairandbrown of being a liar.

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On 28/10/2018 at 11:30, winkie said:

.....London has never been a place where only the working rich can live.... 

You're not wrong. I doubt many people on PAYE are rich enough to live in London. Far more people living in London are rich and don't work. You want to subsidise them through tax credits for their house keepers/drivers/child minders? 

Edited by bushblairandbrown

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19 hours ago, NuBrit said:

That is not true though. I put the numbers into a calculator and it came out with benefits of just over £20k.

As i said the figure i quoted was pre UC so i cant give you a link or reproduce it now. Specifically it was in Camden for a mum with two children, with her working 16 hours per week. Nonetheless i should clarify the 40k included working 16 hours a week at min wage (about 7ph back then) so 34k benefits. 

I would be interested to have the link to the calculator you have used though. 

20k in camden doesn't ring true to me. Rent alone would be 1300pcm min for two bedrooms. Then council tax 150 pcm. Gas elec 100 pcm, water 50 pcm so that's 1600 pcm fixed costs. So left over from 20k is 800 quid to feed three for a year. No childcare, internet, or phone either.

I doubt you used the calculator right. 

And just to put the original perspective on this - I didn't research that figure to serve a benefit bashing political purpose. I was living in London earning about 35k thinking how on earth I could realistically support a family without a big pay bump (or moving away, which was the eventual solution). When i found that figure of 40k for a single mum it all made sense.

I know your figure of 20k is bs because a single adult can barely live in Camden on 20k, and make no mistake a single mum with two kids will have no fun on 40k. I don't think the solution is to throw yet more benefit money around for the reasons others have already articulated. 

Edited by bushblairandbrown

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On 28/10/2018 at 08:49, bushblairandbrown said:

I once went through the Camden Council website "how much am I entitled to claim" page for exactly this reason about 3+ years ago. I can't find this page now as it appears to have been replaced by some UC stuff. I found a single mum with 2 kids working 16 hours a week was entitled to (allowance, housing contribute, kids allowance, tax credits) just shy of £40k in benefits.

I don't necessarily think this is too much to give a single mum to raise two kids in London. I'm sure they would have a pretty uncomfortable life on that amount. However, that figure cemented my opinion that parents working typical and productive jobs trying to raise children in London had become a twisted joke. 

There needs to be a discussion about whether it is reasonable for the state to support the raising of children in London when living costs are so extortionate versus most of the country. My feelings are if you have children in London and need benefits you should be required to move somewhere cheaper to be entitled to claim. 

+1 of course doing that would make London much cheaper and so less people working there would not need benefits.

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Anecdotal evidence of how silly UC implementation is. 

I have a friend who get's job seekers (£73.10) + a "disability premium" element of about £35 a week. 

He's looking hard for work, and willing to take on short shifts/0 hours etc. mostly for the pride of not claiming. 

But as soon as he works even one hour he has to notify the job centre, who will move him on to Universal credit which doesn't have any disability premium. So that's instantly £35 taken away from his benefits. But because UC is reduced by £0.63 for every £1 earned he effectively has to earn £100 to even break even. 

Universal credit was mean't to provide an incentive for every hour worked. And remove the tax credits cliff edge where people were better off on the dole than they were working 15 hours.

But here we have a situation where he's better off watching Jeremy Kyle than working 10 hours, or 18 hours (after travel costs).

 

 

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2 hours ago, Council estate capitalist said:

Anecdotal evidence of how silly UC implementation is. 

I have a friend who get's job seekers (£73.10) + a "disability premium" element of about £35 a week. 

...

But here we have a situation where he's better off watching Jeremy Kyle than working 10 hours, or 18 hours (after travel costs).

The problem with this argument is that he is either genuinely disabled and unable to work or he isnt, you can't have it both ways.

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30 minutes ago, Habeas Domus said:

The problem with this argument is that he is either genuinely disabled and unable to work or he isnt, you can't have it both ways.

Couldn't someone be disabled in that they can do some jobs rather than others?  Stephen Hawkings springs to mind as someone who was working but could not do all jobs.

Personally I don't think the benefit system run nationally can work, maybe some local system might work better.  I wonder how it works in decentralized countries like Switzerland.

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1 hour ago, Habeas Domus said:

The problem with this argument is that he is either genuinely disabled and unable to work or he isnt, you can't have it both ways.

The current system as it is you can claim PIP/DLA(legacy) for the "extra costs of a disability", But also claim JSA which requires you to look for and take work. 

If he had a disability and was unable to work the correct combination would be ESA + PIP/DLA

There are situations where you could be disabled, but still able to do work. But the two are incompatible in most cases.  

In this case he's not going to renew the disability benefits he's had since birth when they expire. But I can't fault him for acting in his best interests by continuing to receive the money.

I think it's the system that's broken, not the participants who will always act in what they perceive to be their own interests. 

44 minutes ago, iamnumerate said:

Couldn't someone be disabled in that they can do some jobs rather than others?  Stephen Hawkings springs to mind as someone who was working but could not do all jobs.

Personally I don't think the benefit system run nationally can work, maybe some local system might work better.  I wonder how it works in decentralized countries like Switzerland.

He's a good lad but he's not a Stephen Hawking lol. 

I think decentralizing it could work, especially in areas where lots of people are laid off at once (Steel works, Car plants etc) to provide more tailored support for (mandatory) retraining + public works etc. 

But 1 issue I would have is that it might encourage an internal migration of people to where the highest benefits are paid, 

Plus I don't trust that if the schemes are run by local councils/entity captured by local politicians the payouts wouldn't be increased in the run up to an election to buy votes.

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14 hours ago, Council estate capitalist said:

The current system as it is you can claim PIP/DLA(legacy) for the "extra costs of a disability", But also claim JSA which requires you to look for and take work. 

If he had a disability and was unable to work the correct combination would be ESA + PIP/DLA

There are situations where you could be disabled, but still able to do work. But the two are incompatible in most cases.  

In this case he's not going to renew the disability benefits he's had since birth when they expire. But I can't fault him for acting in his best interests by continuing to receive the money.

I think it's the system that's broken, not the participants who will always act in what they perceive to be their own interests. 

He's a good lad but he's not a Stephen Hawking lol. 

I think decentralizing it could work, especially in areas where lots of people are laid off at once (Steel works, Car plants etc) to provide more tailored support for (mandatory) retraining + public works etc. 

But 1 issue I would have is that it might encourage an internal migration of people to where the highest benefits are paid, 

Plus I don't trust that if the schemes are run by local councils/entity captured by local politicians the payouts wouldn't be increased in the run up to an election to buy votes.

I don't think I have the complete answer, however any local system would need to only pay people with a link to the locality.  BTW ( I didn't think your friend would be Stephen Hawking).

I agree with you the system is broken although that is partly due to people gaming the system.

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On 27/10/2018 at 18:57, mrtickle said:

If you were previously gifted £10,000/year of benefits and then this changed to £8,000/year, this 2K worse off is serious.

 

I wonder, if you use the same term, 'gifted', in relation to farming subsidies, tax write offs and other subsidies 'gifted' to wealthy people. Do you think Ian Duncan-Smith's father in law spoke of being 'gifted' a fortune for putting a wind turbine in his back field? I always wonder what the motives are of people who obsess about £60 a week PIP or £200 a week tax credits but are always ready to overlook the vastly greater benefits that are paid to the wealthy.

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On 28/10/2018 at 08:49, bushblairandbrown said:

My feelings are if you have children in London and need benefits you should be required to move somewhere cheaper to be entitled to claim. 

Yes! Let's emulate the Weimar Republic. Why stop at that?

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4 hours ago, iamnumerate said:

I don't think I have the complete answer, however any local system would need to only pay people with a link to the locality.  BTW ( I didn't think your friend would be Stephen Hawking).

I agree with you the system is broken although that is partly due to people gaming the system.

https://youtu.be/MXAQCr4sEOo?t=2389 

People are devious and will always find a way of cheating or at least gaming the system with loopholes. Whether it's plain fraud or just contriving a situation (Think becoming a Avon seller to claim tax credits). 

People will always be greedy, It's the system that needs to change to remove perverse incentives. 

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3 hours ago, Cryptotrader said:

Yes! Let's emulate the Weimar Republic. Why stop at that?

Do you have a link for that? I think it is quite reasonable.

 

3 hours ago, Cryptotrader said:

I wonder, if you use the same term, 'gifted', in relation to farming subsidies, tax write offs and other subsidies 'gifted' to wealthy people. Do you think Ian Duncan-Smith's father in law spoke of being 'gifted' a fortune for putting a wind turbine in his back field? I always wonder what the motives are of people who obsess about £60 a week PIP or £200 a week tax credits but are always ready to overlook the vastly greater benefits that are paid to the wealthy.

Actually I want to stop both.  Although often reducing housing benefit would harm the wealthy as well as the lazy with one stone.  It would harm the Wilsons (who are allegedly wealthy) for a start.

 

One the subject of wind turbines subsidises I think they are probably a bad idea unless they really ARE saving the environment in which case they are a good idea - even if they enrich those who are already wealthy. 

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