November 6, 2017

http://www.rugbyadvertiser.co.uk/news/rugby-group-says-benefit-system-is-an-attack-on-the-poor-but-mp-stands-by-it-1-8227799

Universal Credit is an attack on the poor and rollout must be halted: BBC radio interview with Rugby TUSC this morning explaining why.  Go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05h8d80 and wind forward one hour seven minutes for start of discussion or one hour ten minutes for the start of the TUSC interview

INDIVIDUAL CASES OF HARDSHIP CAUSED BY UNIVERSAL CREDIT IN RUGBY

SANCTIONS

  • A claimant was sanctioned before Christmas because he could not use a computer in the time available at the Job Centre to apply for jobs, and had no computer at home to try again – 20% are not on the internet.  As a result, he spent Christmas in a tent on a graveyard in Rugby because his landlord threw him out, as he could not pay his rent. 

  • A middle-aged man with special needs had his benefits cancelled for four weeks after he accidently missed an appointment by getting his dates wrong.  On the day we were leafleting he went in to the Job Centre for help completing one of their forms, this was refused and, instead, he was sent to the Citizens Advice Bureau – which was closed!

  • A young man with throat cancer, 30 minutes late for his appointment because he had been to hospital for treatment, was told he couldn’t rearrange the interview and would lose benefits

  • A middle aged woman was sanction...

Despite growing pressure from the establishment to stop the roll-out of its flagship welfare reform ‘Universal Credit’ to the whole country, the Works and Pensions Secretary David Gauke has today confirmed to the Tory conference that the roll-out will continue.  “This is devastating news for those having to claim benefits,” Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition spokesperson Pete McLaren told us today.  “Rugby has been one of six pilot areas for Universal Credit (UC) since 2013.  We have been campaigning against it ever since, pointing out that its aim is to make it harder for people to claim the benefits they are entitled to, and thereby pushing more people into poverty.  What we have seen happening to the poor and vulnerable in Rugby will now happen nationwide.

“Our evidence has been gained by talking to claimants outside Rugby Job Centre on at least a monthly basis over the last 4 years.  We are not at all surprised that former Government advisor Dame Louise Case...

Despite growing pressure from the establishment to stop the roll-out of its flagship welfare reform ‘Universal Credit’ to the whole country, the Works and Pensions Secretary David Gauke has today confirmed to the Tory conference that the roll-out will continue.  “This is devastating news for those having to claim benefits,” Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition spokesperson Pete McLaren told us today.  “Rugby has been one of six pilot areas for Universal Credit (UC) since 2013.  We have been campaigning against it ever since, pointing out that its aim is to make it harder for people to claim the benefits they are entitled to, and thereby pushing more people into poverty.  What we have seen happening to the poor and vulnerable in Rugby will now happen nationwide.

“Our evidence has been gained by talking to claimants outside Rugby Job Centre on at least a monthly basis over the last 4 years.  We are not at all surprised that former Government advisor Dame Louise Case...

The Government has today announced the end of the public sector pay cap for police and prison officers.  It has also hinted at ending the pay cap altogether by talking about the need for more flexibility in the future.

"Whilst welcoming this U-turn by the Tory government, the Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) remains highly critical of government policy on public sector pay,” Rugby TUSC spokesperson Pete McLaren told us today.  “They should lift the 1% cap for ALL public sector workers immediately.  Public sector workers, including nurses, doctors, teachers and firefighters have seen their pay cut by thousands of pounds over the last 7 years.  We call for co-ordinated industrial action by public sector trade unions to force the government to change its position.

“Even today’s announcement to give prison officers a 1.7% rise, while police will get a 1% one-off bonus on top of the 1% cap, is way below inflation, which has risen to 2.9%.  These are pay cuts...

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