Universal Credit: Should it be scrapped?

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  • Families could be left homeless and destitute if Theresa May insists on pressing ahead with Universal Credit, a former top adviser has warned.


    Dame Louise Casey urged the prime minister to pause the rollout of the new benefit system so it can be fixed.

    This government adviser is asking the PM to "pause" the roll-out of Universal Credit, but should a more drastic approach be taken and have the whole system scrapped instead.


    Since its controversial introduction by Ian Duncan Smith, there have been many complaints that vulnerable people have been left without benefits, or that the system is too complex, or computer systems weren't ready for it.


    Welfare makes up the largest chunk of State spending and the distribution of benefits should be as efficient and easy to use as possible. Is Universal Credit fit for that purpose, or is a whole rethink needed about how to handle benefits?

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  • It sounds great to me, the problem seems to lie with people who can't budget.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • It's a bloody disaster. How on earth can you tell people already just scraping by that they are going on to a new system and won't get a penny for six weeks? The computer systems aren't adequate and while it's basically a good idea, they should first of all ensure people have enough to live on. Rent arrears are going up and so are evictions.


    There was a landlord's agent on t.v. yesterday saying he'd served more eviction notices in the last year or so than during the previous 20 years.


    I'm all for a system which says a fit man and X number of kids needs a certain amount to live on plus the rent and rates paid and that sum should be 'universal ' but it needs introducing properly and carefully.


    It's bloody daft not to give a man and his wife and kids anything so they can't pay the rent, become reliant on food banks and make them homeless and more of a drain on the state instead of ensuring they at least have enough to get by on.

  • I read an article on this debacle that claimed some interviewed were not able to come out because they were spending their benefits on alcohol and drugs and so were going without food because a lump sum caused them to spend instead of budget. This isn't easily solved as addiction must be served and there is no use castigating them for it. They will spend when they can to assuage the need.


    The problem is strange for those of us who live in places where you just lose everything if you can't pay and where the benefits are very small to those who get them as the tax base is small and ever shrinking. I don't think society as such is liable for these disasters. I don't think the government as such is either, to be honest. I think social problems have a wide range of causes and effects that are more to do with human failing to be able to survive than anything else.


    Any economic collapse is going to create a squeeze and relying on the hapless tax payer for every blip on the screen of life won't solve serious social problems like overpopulation, skills shortages, mad divorce settlements or production shift.


    Poverty's causes are a feature of the unstable nature of affluence and the tendency for uneducated and unskilled folk to rely on the unreliable. This has caused particularly Marxist ideologies to climb in with their boots on and blame anyone with any sort of successful existence. But Marxism didn't solve these problems either and merely brought most down to the same level of misery whilst bigwigs dined and danced in the halls of those they once said they hated.


    Most politicians are failing today because they cant make enough false promises to get into power and can't keep any of them once they do get in. They simply wriggle and squirm and end up stabbing one another in the back while the people who were in trouble just get further into trouble. No new upstart is going to be able to fix this endless and seemingly eternal problem without finding a new way or a better way of dealing with it.


    Shoving a dummy into the mouth of a screaming baby doesn't solve the baby's plea for help. It just shuts it up for a bit and also teaches the baby that nice tasting bungs can be a way of getting by, so next time you feel uncomfortable, just scream and someone will come and give you what isn't going to help you but tastes nice and gets you hooked.


    The reason why I'm a libertarian and a nationalist and not a universalist, is that I believe that small is better when trying to solve local problems and deal with local folk. Liberty cannot be achieved if a number of different systems are clamouring for domination. Yes, by all means make trading friends and alliances but not at the expense of your nation. If the nation doesn't come first and isn't well skilled and the population numbers balanced, then catastrophe is on the horizon.


    That problem has now become the horror story of many nations who were neglected because their leaders are engaged in worshipping themselves and their ridiculous unworkable ideologies and beliefs.


    What to do once the horses have bolted and are careering away towards a cliff is the big question I can't answer but maybe someone else can. I would suggest closing the door now so that at least some can survive who are still in the paddock.


    A solution, when this happens to someone else is not to take in their surplus population when you already have problems of your own, and even if you don't, you soon will have.


    Mrs Merkel hasn't learned that lesson, or if she has, it's too late for Germany and there will be civic unrest. Of that she can be assured and for that she can blame herself. Any draconian legislation to keep the people quiet will almost certainly be met with rage. Serves her and her silly gaggle of multiculturalists and cultural Marxists and bloody Christian democrats et al, right. It is also the people's fault for voting for it, but they have so little viable opposition. It's how she and her ilk stay in power. The fear factor that they love to hate because it helps them look good. That is also why I am sorry nationalists aren't more sensible, but I've given up on that one. They, too, have much to learn and they, too, will be overcome by something that actually works and appeals to people who are too afraid, for a number of reasons, to think outside the box.


    Britain's problems are similar to all of these so unless Britain can separate as a nation and actively do something about the underprivileged who are going to burgeon in the new economic shift era, nothing anyone does is going to work or be able to overcome bullshitters like Corbyn. He isn't a bad guy, he is simply an anachronism. You can't solve huge social and economic problems by anachronistic veneration of past failures, and by trying to polish a turd.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • A lot to reply to there and I don't have time at the moment. Will come back to this later.

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  • It sounds great to me, the problem seems to lie with people who can't budget.

    For some this is the case, but here in the UK, LW, benefits were always paid weekly, so for some people to get a monthly payment is impossible for them to deal with.

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  • Can they not be helped to deal with it? Being drip fed is not a good idea.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • I was half listening to a broadcast this morning and someone said in another country ( It may have been Scotland.) welfare recipients can request that the rent is paid directly to the landlord rather than themselves and that they receive their money 2 weekly and not monthly.


    This would make far more sense to me. Someone used to receiving a fixed amount each week, then being denied any money for 6 weeks and then being paid four weeks in advance is going to find it difficult to budget. He's going to be in trouble straight away because he has to pay back any money he's borrowed to get by for the six weeks first and then make the rest last four weeks.

  • Should be paid on the dot every month end if it's to be a universal payment. You can't expect someone to budget on a fluid payment that happens between four and six weeks. This is a great way to get into debt, as you mention. Why are the designers of these schemes such clots? (Rhetorical question, one would need to comprehend their situation to know how to deal with it. You can't give the construction of a payment plan to a spiv who doesn't know what it's like to literally have no money.)

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • Yes Ian Duncan Smith a man who lives on an MPs salary, who tried to tell others they can live on £60 a week on some radio phone in from what I recall.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • I read an article on this debacle that claimed some interviewed were not able to come out because they were spending their benefits on alcohol and drugs and so were going without food because a lump sum caused them to spend instead of budget. This isn't easily solved as addiction must be served and there is no use castigating them for it. They will spend when they can to assuage the need.

    That is the case sometimes. My ex (now deceased) scum neighbour who got everything paid for him including a flat when he was kicked out by his son (the actual owner of the house next to mine) was on drugs and spent all his benefits money on booze too. He never ate, so was wafer thin, but always had a can of larger in his hand.

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  • The problem is strange for those of us who live in places where you just lose everything if you can't pay and where the benefits are very small to those who get them as the tax base is small and ever shrinking. I don't think society as such is liable for these disasters. I don't think the government as such is either, to be honest. I think social problems have a wide range of causes and effects that are more to do with human failing to be able to survive than anything else.

    If you're still talking about alcoholism and drug addiction in this bit LW, then I agree it is complex. Perhaps we'll create a separate thread on this specific topic.

    Any economic collapse is going to create a squeeze and relying on the hapless tax payer for every blip on the screen of life won't solve serious social problems like overpopulation, skills shortages, mad divorce settlements or production shift.

    Hmm. Not sure I really agree here. The UK is a wealthy country and should be able to pay for its most vulnerable.

    Poverty's causes are a feature of the unstable nature of affluence and the tendency for uneducated and unskilled folk to rely on the unreliable. This has caused particularly Marxist ideologies to climb in with their boots on and blame anyone with any sort of successful existence. But Marxism didn't solve these problems either and merely brought most down to the same level of misery whilst bigwigs dined and danced in the halls of those they once said they hated.

    Not sure if I'm really understanding you here, LW. What is unstable about affluence? Do you mean that you can get very rich people and somehow this causes others to become very poor? Are you talking about redistribution of wealth from the haves to the have nots?


    Again, you've lost me on those who have to rely on unreliable folks? What unreliable folks?


    Fully agree about your Marxist points.

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  • Most politicians are failing today because they cant make enough false promises to get into power and can't keep any of them once they do get in. They simply wriggle and squirm and end up stabbing one another in the back while the people who were in trouble just get further into trouble. No new upstart is going to be able to fix this endless and seemingly eternal problem without finding a new way or a better way of dealing with it.

    We have a benefits system, it just needs to be efficiently and fairly run.

    Shoving a dummy into the mouth of a screaming baby doesn't solve the baby's plea for help. It just shuts it up for a bit and also teaches the baby that nice tasting bungs can be a way of getting by, so next time you feel uncomfortable, just scream and someone will come and give you what isn't going to help you but tastes nice and gets you hooked.

    I agree partially, but it depends on the circumstance of the individual who's sucking on the "dummy."

    The reason why I'm a libertarian and a nationalist and not a universalist, is that I believe that small is better when trying to solve local problems and deal with local folk. Liberty cannot be achieved if a number of different systems are clamouring for domination. Yes, by all means make trading friends and alliances but not at the expense of your nation. If the nation doesn't come first and isn't well skilled and the population numbers balanced, then catastrophe is on the horizon.


    That problem has now become the horror story of many nations who were neglected because their leaders are engaged in worshipping themselves and their ridiculous unworkable ideologies and beliefs.

    Whole different subjects here, at least four. Lets stick to the UK benefits system. My brain, unlike yours, can only cope with one thing at a time. :) I am a man, don't forget.;)^^ (one thing at a time, one thing at ...)

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  • What to do once the horses have bolted and are careering away towards a cliff is the big question I can't answer but maybe someone else can. I would suggest closing the door now so that at least some can survive who are still in the paddock.

    This probably goes back to those that are addicted to drugs and booze, so we'll leave that for another thread. But briefly, I do agree there needs to be a "cut off" point in such situations.

    A solution, when this happens to someone else is not to take in their surplus population when you already have problems of your own, and even if you don't, you soon will have.


    Mrs Merkel hasn't learned that lesson, or if she has, it's too late for Germany and there will be civic unrest. Of that she can be assured and for that she can blame herself. Any draconian legislation to keep the people quiet will almost certainly be met with rage. Serves her and her silly gaggle of multiculturalists and cultural Marxists and bloody Christian democrats et al, right. It is also the people's fault for voting for it, but they have so little viable opposition. It's how she and her ilk stay in power. The fear factor that they love to hate because it helps them look good. That is also why I am sorry nationalists aren't more sensible, but I've given up on that one. They, too, have much to learn and they, too, will be overcome by something that actually works and appeals to people who are too afraid, for a number of reasons, to think outside the box.

    Naughty. :) I agree, but lets talk about immigration and Merkel's policies elsewhere. Immigrants aren't the only receiver of UK benefits, we still have a few Brits left here, for the moment...

    Britain's problems are similar to all of these so unless Britain can separate as a nation and actively do something about the underprivileged who are going to burgeon in the new economic shift era, nothing anyone does is going to work or be able to overcome bullshitters like Corbyn. He isn't a bad guy, he is simply an anachronism. You can't solve huge social and economic problems by anachronistic veneration of past failures, and by trying to polish a turd.

    Indeed, and the UK will find this out if Corbyn gets elected.


    There. Done:!: It's only taken me two and a half days to absorb and reply to your very wide ranging post.;)

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  • I was half listening to a broadcast this morning and someone said in another country ( It may have been Scotland.) welfare recipients can request that the rent is paid directly to the landlord rather than themselves and that they receive their money 2 weekly and not monthly.


    This would make far more sense to me. Someone used to receiving a fixed amount each week, then being denied any money for 6 weeks and then being paid four weeks in advance is going to find it difficult to budget. He's going to be in trouble straight away because he has to pay back any money he's borrowed to get by for the six weeks first and then make the rest last four weeks.

    As you would know, the whole point of paying benefits monthly is to get into the minds of the people that this is a stepping stone to getting employment and all employers (or most) pay monthly.


    The problem is, UC is trying to do two separate things under the same umbrella. It's trying to be a temporary benefit, a way to nudge people into work and it's also a payment to those that cannot work. The example you cite should not happen. But should the entire UC system be scrapped because of some problems?

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  • Will answer you later, H as I am going to the dentist. =O

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • Appointment in an hour's time. Hoping it will just be a little chip off a filling and not a big expensive deal.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • As you would know, the whole point of paying benefits monthly is to get into the minds of the people that this is a stepping stone to getting employment and all employers (or most) pay monthly.


    The problem is, UC is trying to do two separate things under the same umbrella. It's trying to be a temporary benefit, a way to nudge people into work and it's also a payment to those that cannot work. The example you cite should not happen. But should the entire UC system I be scrapped because of some problems?

    I'm not suggesting it be scrapped, I'm all for the idea in principle but they should have got the computer system working properly, ( I've been told it won't even recognise Northern Ireland postcodes.) and ensured delays didn't happen. They started the roll out by only dealing with single people. If that had been perfected before they moved on to couples and families it would have been a much smoother transition.

  • I'm not suggesting it be scrapped, I'm all for the idea in principle but they should have got the computer system working properly, ( I've been told it won't even recognise Northern Ireland postcodes.) and ensured delays didn't happen. They started the roll out by only dealing with single people. If that had been perfected before they moved on to couples and families it would have been a much smoother transition.

    Agree, Morgan.


    Going back to your earlier post, with all this mess in delayed payments, rather than introduce the system that immediately paid in four week lump sums, perhaps they should have eased it in. By making payments weekly, then payments every 2 weeks and eventually leading to it being monthly. As you say, someone getting nothing for 6 weeks, then paid 4 weeks at once, will instantly put them in debt and start a cycle from which they can't come out of.


    I'm not sure about paying the benefits straight to the landlord. In theory, it sounds great, but how can people ever learn to budget, if the largest chunk of their budget is organised for them? Or perhaps, it should be a phased approach again, pay some direct to the landlord but not all.

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  • Not sure if I'm really understanding you here, LW. What is unstable about affluence? Do you mean that you can get very rich people and somehow this causes others to become very poor? Are you talking about redistribution of wealth from the haves to the have nots?


    Again, you've lost me on those who have to rely on unreliable folks? What unreliable folks?

    It isn't affluence itself that is unstable it is the phenomenon of affluence. It cannot be relied on (answer to second query about what is unreliable). It isn't the affluent people who are unreliable, although they can be as they are people and people can be unreliable. What is meant was that being wealthy can change at the drop of a hat. Being a wealthy country can change and has, through history at the mercy of economic shift, climatic disaster, natural catastrophe as well as that old chestnut invasion and conquest.


    This is the bubble of thin glass that governments are relying on to implement their mad theories of social justice and endless welfare. It is like relying on a spider's web to hold you up if you want to use it to travel between two cliffs. If it breaks, or the wind tears it, you plummet into the abyss.


    Mere wealth isn't a reliable thing as the reason for that affluence is what might or might not hold it up. As Britain is no longer a manufacturing nation, and never will be what it once was, that affluence that is the result of centuries of collative profit since the times of the early Kingdoms and Christendom, the industrial and agricultural revolutions and the factory system, are gone, or are rapidly departing. They are departing because there has been an economic and industrial shift. In fact there will also be a shift in banking capitals to match this. Goodbye cash, it's going to go to Shanghai.


    Affluence and wealth of a nation can therefore vanish practically overnight in historical time and if politicians cannot work with new ways of maintaining wealth or creating it from workable sources, if they cannot adapt to change in other words, they will not be able to stop the rot or the crash that is the inevitable result of a changed world.


    Various ideologies in the west (one in particular) are actively changing the western world and its civilizations by incorporating much of the rest of the world as cheap labour disguised as social justice and "replacement population", chasing out its own wealthy and educated by draconian taxation and stupid discriminatory policies to fund failing systems and unrealistic ideals. This is the the pathway to ruin.


    I don't see any politicians capable of dealing effectively with this crisis. Therefore - man the lifeboats unless some come along who can.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • Agree, Morgan.


    Going back to your earlier post, with all this mess in delayed payments, rather than introduce the system that immediately paid in four week lump sums, perhaps they should have eased it in. By making payments weekly, then payments every 2 weeks and eventually leading to it being monthly. As you say, someone getting nothing for 6 weeks, then paid 4 weeks at once, will instantly put them in debt and start a cycle from which they can't come out of.


    I'm not sure about paying the benefits straight to the landlord. In theory, it sounds great, but how can people ever learn to budget, if the largest chunk of their budget is organised for them? Or perhaps, it should be a phased approach again, pay some direct to the landlord but not all.

    At least paying the rent direct to the landlord would stop so many evictions. The cost of those socially and economically must be enormous.

  • At least paying the rent direct to the landlord would stop so many evictions. The cost of those socially and economically must be enormous.

    Also a lot of private landlords are now refusing to take tenants who are on benefits as the housing benefit is no longer paid direct to them and due to the fact Housing benefit is capped in some areas so it no longer covers the whole of the rent that private landlords charge.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • Also a lot of private landlords are now refusing to take tenants who are on benefits as the housing benefit is no longer paid direct to them and due to the fact Housing benefit is capped in some areas so it no longer covers the whole of the rent that private landlords charge.

    That's a deliberate part of UC as the bulk of it was always for rent, so by not quite paying the full amount, its meant to nudge the recipient into looking for a job.

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  • I don't see any politicians capable of dealing effectively with this crisis. Therefore - man the lifeboats unless some come along who can.

    I snipped out the bulk of your quote there, but I am replying to all of it.


    Although not for discussion here, the advent of AI and robots could have a dramatic effect on wealth. I don't think it will vanish overnight, that you think it will, but it could go quickly.


    I'm hoping there won't be any giant tidal waves hitting the UK soon, or that we get invaded, but I take your point. Things change and as history has demonstrated, things can change quickly sometimes.

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  • I know how fast things can change, living where I do. 8)

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • I know how fast things can change, living where I do. 8)

    Yes. Including the end of one regime and the start of another.


    I'm not complacent about sudden change, just hope it won't be in my lifetime.

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  • It won't have to be if the British get a grip on what could destroy our ancient people forever. I know I must sound like a prophesying crone when I say things like this, but ... bad moves by governments seeking to be universally good can do enough damage to sink the ship of state and set the citizens adrift. In-fighting is a sign that all is not sweetness and light among the mighty. I just wish the mighty could come to some sort of decision concerning what is good for the people and the future of the nation and stop trying to be the world's welfare system and dumping ground. Small island - will sink.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • That's a deliberate part of UC as the bulk of it was always for rent, so by not quite paying the full amount, its meant to nudge the recipient into looking for a job.

    Which is fine if the recipient is fit and capable of working, as some of them have been deemed fit to work by the flawed work capability assessment system when in reality they are not fit for work.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.