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Universal Credit New Thread.complete Disaster.


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What's your answer?

Well my answer is fix housing/land once and for all, so rentiers don't absorb any increases or improvements in disposable income. Or steal an increasing share of economic growth and productivity gains.

This would require fundamental land reform. or continue to tinker with the issue and provide more social housing (a lot more) or the outright fraud of 'affordable housing' (shared equity).

Land reform would require almost a revolution or a peasants revolt, especially as owner occupiers are part into the scam now.

Pretty much no hope when 'LabourTory' policies are aimed at Mail/Sun swing voters who own houses, and MP's are largely rentiers with taxpayers money used to acquire valuable London properties.

After all the 'Welfare state' grew out of the Poor Laws which grew out of the confiscation of land, which helped create massive rural poverty.

Edited by aSecureTenant
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To repeat, there is no magic wand that the government can wave to raise wages, if there was don't you think that they would have done it.

For the past 30+ years the government has followed policies to actively drive down wages at the bottom and middle. So, what makes you think they are powerless to follow policies which will increase wages?

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What's your answer?

The idea behind UC seems sound, the implementation hasn't gone well but hopefully it can be sorted in the end.

I agree with reducing housing costs and curtailing immigration for other reasons but I don't think that's going to solve the problems inherent in the benefits system today.

What is the withdrawal rate for tax credits?

I thought it was about 30%? Not 100%, surely?

The problem is the interaction with other taxes and benefits hence the attraction of a single universal system.

20% income tax + 11% NIC + 30% TC withdrawal + ?% housing benefit + ?% council tax benefit + ?% various other benefits.

For the past 30+ years the government has followed policies to actively drive down wages at the bottom and middle. So, what makes you think they are powerless to follow policies which will increase wages?

I'm not sure I agree with that. It may be true that wages have stagnated at the bottom but I'd suggest that is more a consequence of global economic change; quite simply there's an enormous global pool of low skilled workers and not all that much demand for them.

More fundamentally, what do politicians want? Votes. What's the best way to get someone to vote for you? Raise their wages.

Which implies that there aren't any simple cost free steps to raising wages, but if you do know of any please share them.

Edited by Goat
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More fundamentally, what do politicians want? Votes. What's the best way to get someone to vote for you? Raise their wages house price.

Even Cameron and Osborne have figured this one out, and they're not exactly towering intellects.

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More fundamentally, what do politicians want? Votes. What's the best way to get someone to vote for you? Raise their wages.

So far, the major parties have discovered that they can do this relatively cheaply: by selling the public on wage increases and tax cuts for other people aka the "job creators", otherwise known as management. However, in reality this generally means people running large companies who take zero risk but are rewarded in such a way that you'd think they spent their entire career on a tightrope. Those actually in the business of developing new businesses are generally paying themselves a lot less but they too are enticed with a low-tax regime for when, Rodders, they are finally milyonaires.

It's worked remarkably well for about 30 years, although it's showing signs of running out of steam now.

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How does UC, if implemented, solve the problem?

1/ put all the different benefits (including housing and working) benefits to one single basket with a single number

2/ start the public debate that it is too much

3/ reduce the single number; go back to point 2/

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There's obviously no simple answers. It's taken 30 years to get here. But low wages and high housing costs and other living costs are the problem - not the benefit system - that's just a symptom.

- the UK labour force is already the most expensive one in the world; with no extra added value

- the benefit system increases the costs of living; same as minimal wage

- planning system should be scrapped and all FTBs should recieve a building plot for £20k max upon request

- in general throwing money to the lower classess will not make them rich; they will be still at the bottom, because of the induced inflation; but it is bankrupting middle classes, who are feeding the system

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That's the clearest summary I've seen so far.

So nothing to do with making it easier to move into work?

we can not solve all UK problems in one thread

if it is me I would replace all benefits whatsoever by workforce - council subsidised protected jobs for NMW - but I would loose next elections ... :)

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If rents halved we'd save half of the £25 billion housing benefit bill. That's a big chunk of the problem solved.

If you could save 20% of the £17bn bill that'd be a major achievement and still be tinkering around the edges.

More to the point I'm not convinced that it would have any effect on the perverse effects of the current benefit system. The claimants would still be living in the same house and would still face the same excessive marginal tax/benefit rates.

How does UC, if implemented, solve the problem?

By combining benefits into a single figure that is withdrawn at a consistent fair rate, hence removing the incentive to work.

Also there is an administrative issue. Because the various benefits are administered separately it is apparently a nightmare if your circumstances change, particularly if they change regularly. Say you were to find 2 weeks work, by the time you've sorted out your changes to JSA, HB etc you're almost certain to be out of pocket. I think SE Youth can vouch for this.

Even Cameron and Osborne have figured this one out, and they're not exactly towering intellects.

The fact that The Cretin Brown decided to go down this unsustainable route confirms the absence of any straightforward way to raise wages.

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If you could save 20% of the £17bn bill that'd be a major achievement and still be tinkering around the edges.

if state assures to provide housing for agriculture land costs and building costs with 20% profit margin we would be able to scrap housing benefit and tax credits all together

Edited by Damik
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There's obviously no simple answers. It's taken 30 years to get here. But low wages and high housing costs and other living costs are the problem - not the benefit system - that's just a symptom.

Not true, low wages and the benefit system are closely linked.

Who receives low wages? Low skilled workers.

How as an individual do you go about increasing your wages? Increase your skills and experience.

How do you increase your skills and experience? Education can help but the majority of the real value will be added by on the job training and experience.

What stops low skilled workers from gaining on the job experience? A perverse benefits system that leaves them out of pocket as a result of taking work to get the requisite experience.

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By combining benefits into a single figure that is withdrawn at a consistent fair rate, hence removing the incentive to work.

Also there is an administrative issue. Because the various benefits are administered separately it is apparently a nightmare if your circumstances change, particularly if they change regularly. Say you were to find 2 weeks work, by the time you've sorted out your changes to JSA, HB etc you're almost certain to be out of pocket. I think SE Youth can vouch for this.

I fully accept the point about the complexity of the current system. That is the one major advantage to UC that remains. Although council tax benefit has been excluded so you still have to work out the effects of that separately and apply separately - some political shenanigans from Eric Pickles against councils are to be thanked for that!

But by setting the withdrawal rate at 65%, very few will end up better off. The withdrawal rate for Housing Benefit is already 65% so there's no gain there. I'm pretty sure the withdrawal rate for Tax Credit is about 30% so those claimants will be worse off increasing their hours than under the current system. So it's only a subset of claimants on JSA who will have any advantage and even then we're talking about a pretty small advantage as JSA itself pays so little.

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I fully accept the point about the complexity of the current system. That is the one major advantage to UC that remains. Although council tax benefit has been excluded so you still have to work out the effects of that separately and apply separately - some political shenanigans from Eric Pickles against councils are to be thanked for that!

But by setting the withdrawal rate at 65%, very few will end up better off. The withdrawal rate for Housing Benefit is already 65% so there's no gain there. I'm pretty sure the withdrawal rate for Tax Credit is about 30% so those claimants will be worse off increasing their hours than under the current system. So it's only a subset of claimants on JSA who will have any advantage and even then we're talking about a pretty small advantage as JSA itself pays so little.

Pretty sure your figures are wrong but I've run out of time to investigate further.

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Not true, low wages and the benefit system are closely linked.

Who receives low wages? Low skilled workers.

How as an individual do you go about increasing your wages? Increase your skills and experience.

How do you increase your skills and experience? Education can help but the majority of the real value will be added by on the job training and experience.

What stops low skilled workers from gaining on the job experience? A perverse benefits system that leaves them out of pocket as a result of taking work to get the requisite experience.

I still think you've got it all the wrong way round.

The basic benefits package for a single person which I have had experience of gets you somewhere pretty awful to live (if you rent privately) and just about enough money to eat but not always enough to be warm. And also your council tax paid and free prescriptions. I don't think it's civilized to expect people to have any less than this as a minimum standard of living.

So the problem has to lie elsewhere.

Edited by oldsport
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I fully accept the point about the complexity of the current system. That is the one major advantage to UC that remains. Although council tax benefit has been excluded so you still have to work out the effects of that separately and apply separately - some political shenanigans from Eric Pickles against councils are to be thanked for that!

But by setting the withdrawal rate at 65%, very few will end up better off. The withdrawal rate for Housing Benefit is already 65% so there's no gain there. I'm pretty sure the withdrawal rate for Tax Credit is about 30% so those claimants will be worse off increasing their hours than under the current system. So it's only a subset of claimants on JSA who will have any advantage and even then we're talking about a pretty small advantage as JSA itself pays so little.

surelly this is just a first step to implement the UC and when this is done we can focus on your points

in general it is difficult to implement any changes in the benefits area as Labour, BBC and Guardian will always use it as a cheap propaganda in their advantage ...

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I still think you've got it all the wrong way round.

The basic benefits package for a single person which I have had experience of gets you somewhere pretty awful to live (if you rent privately) and just about enough money to eat but not always enough to be warm. And also your council tax paid and free prescriptions. I don't think it's civilized to expect people to have any less than this as a minimum standard of living.

So the problem has to lie elsewhere.

the problem is not the benefits of the single person; but the families ...

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  • 433 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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