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:
– 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.