Amber Rudd’s fake Universal Credit news

I don’t usually bother to react when politicians guff on in the mainstream, but here’s an exception that has stirred me: Amber Rudd’s claim that there have only been a few bad Universal Credit experiences.

I swear to god.

Let me remind Amber how Universal Credit rolls.

As I said to Trev in the comments on my previous story (Trev mentioned Amber’s fantasy Universal Credit world):

I stood outside Stockport jobcentre for an hour on Thursday.

In that single hour, I spoke to four people whose lives had and/or were being screwed by Universal credit:

They were:

– a woman with small children whose husband was self-employed. The couple had never been paid their Universal Credit on time. Not once. The DWP could not properly process the varying amounts the husband was earning. This made trying to survive almost impossible. The woman was pushing her buggy around Stockport trying to sort out Universal Credit problems at the jobcentre and associated housing problems at Stockport Homes. She was not happy.

– a 59-year-old disabled woman whose ESA was stopped after a fit for work decision (I’ll post a longer story about this interview this week). She’d been forced to sign on for Universal Credit, because her ESA was stopped as soon as she was found fit for work. She had nothing to live on while she appealed that decision.

She had to take out an advance loan while she waited for her Universal Credit to start. She wasn’t sure if her Universal Credit was up and running properly, because so much money was coming out of any money she had from the DWP – for the loan, presumably. She was very confused and couldn’t find any support (so much for Rudd’s claims that people get help from DWP work coaches. Don’t make me laugh. People are left to hang).

This woman had been called to another work capability assessment, even though she is still waiting for an outcome to her mandatory reconsideration request on the last one.

– a young woman with a child who went without any money for four months last year because the DWP did not seem to be able to process her Universal Credit claim.

– a young man who said he tried to get thrown back in prison rather than cope with the “system.”

That was in one hour. JUST ONE HOUR.

I’ll be going into this in more detail this week. The DWP and Rudd literally say any old shit when they’re talking about Universal Credit and so many in the mainstream press just publish it.

That gives the DWP and Rudd all the space in the world to tell out-and-out-lies. Which they do. Rudd’s version of events bears so little resemblance to the reality I see week in and week out that she needs to be called on it.

She’s lying. Don’t print her shit.

32 thoughts on “Amber Rudd’s fake Universal Credit news

  1. The Tories inhabit a sort of bubble of wealth, privilege, and wilful denial. A truly alternate Reality. Planet Tory must be an incredible place.

  2. And whilst I’m sure we can all theorize and philosophize about notions of Truth ’til the metaphorical cows come home, the fact is that whereas subjective truth is one thing, outright lies are another. Rudd is telling porkies.

      • Cheers Jeff, my pleasure, and here’s another one…

        I’d missed this, but it seems Amber Rudd has already admitted that a link exists between UC and foodbank use:

        https://t.co/zp2aaAY6JF?amp=1

        Which makes a nonsense of her recent remarks about only one or two people being adversely affected.

  3. There’s an old political saying, ‘Labour always spend too much, and the Conservatives always go too far.’ There is no better example of the latter, than the ‘welfare reform’ agenda of the past few years.
    The deliberate political destruction of support for the sick and disabled. The notorious Work Capabilty assessment by private contractors like Atos / Maximus on lucrative state contracts. And Universal Credit. A benefit system designed to stop people being on benefits.
    To force them off into low-paid , zero-hours work at the first opportunity. Amber Rudd can spin it all she likes. Universal Credit was designed to be as strict as possible with claimaints from day one. That is exactly what is wrong with it. And that element of cruelty and hardship is what has caused, and is continuing to cause, all these problems.

    • Seemingly it is always Tory governments that leave the UK’s finances in a mess when they are forced out of government, which goes counter to what the right-wing press and the Tories themselves would have us believe. Of course, it doesn’t help when you get jokey outgoing Chancellor’s of the Exchequer leaving silly notes for the incoming Tory chancellor. Indeed, I’d go as far as saying that any decent opposition to the Tories shouldn’t engage them with humour and friendly banter but should do all within their power to expose them in their utter cruelty and corruption. As far as Labour’s financial competence goes, there is a meme doing the rounds highlighting that Labour borrowed £500bn over a period of 30 years, whilst the Tories have borrowed over £637 bn since 2010 – kind of puts a little perspective on things.

      That post of Trev’s linking to the post about that poor guy in Birkenhead has left me pretty lost for words, and I think that the saying that a picture can be worth a thousand words is pretty much spot on. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there are apparently some people making heartless comments about him. It makes me wonder about them, surely they must be really sick in a similar way to possibly the majority of people were in Germany under Nazi rule. They have totally abrogated any humanity they may once have had.

  4. Another aspect of being in longterm poverty, and social exclusion, is that it’s harder to keep up with technology (unless it’s just my age). I’ve just been on a bus journey for the first time in ages, and was amazed to see people getting on and paying for their fares using mobile phones! What sort of witchcraft is this? I had no idea such a thing was possible. I feel like I’ve been asleep for 50 yrs and just woke up in an episode of Star Trek, or transported through time like Catweazle! I don’t normally catch buses,i walk everywhere as I can’t afford the fares, and my phone is about 5 yrs old, no more like 6 come to think of it.

    • It’s called NFC Trev, Near Field Communication. It can be linked to a debit card and used just like a contactless debit card. It’s been around for a while, but hasn’t been a feature on the cheaper phones, like those I tend to buy on eBay, until comparatively recently. It’s been on things like iPhones and the more prestigious branded phones for a while. You can also use a phone with NFC to pay for stuff in supermarkets and increasing numbers of shops too.

  5. And how about this – Paul Treloar just copied me into this tweet:

    “Government announce that old-age pensioners will now have to claim Universal Credit from 15 May if they have a partner below pension age. Absolute cowards sneaking this announcement out today, to be drowned out in Brexit debate tomorrow.”

    from 15th May 2019 https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2019-01-14/HCWS1249/

    7:58 PM – 14 Jan 2019

    https://twitter.com/PaulieTandoori/status/1084902532911165440

  6. Pingback: From May, pensioners will have to claim Universal Credit if they have a partner below pension age | Kate Belgrave

      • looking at it the other way around I am less of a catch now for the older woman.
        I live in a old age complex so pretty much got them on tap.

        Yep trev agree after 2 long term relations 12 years and then 20 I pretty much realised after 5 years being independent and living alone is far less stressful empowering and gives back freedom, its just those times when you want to turn to somebody to discuss something, so for me the internet pretty much does that as I am sure it does for many.

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