State Benefits – Problems Inherent in The System

Blog Number 1 – Universal Credit

I have over the past few months been looking at the system currently meant to be in use throughout the country, after pilot schemes there should have been a national roll out for all new claimants & for those reporting a change in circumstances etc.

What I have seen over the past year is sad, bad, embarrassing, upsetting, degrading, humiliating, heartbreaking, scary, incomprehensible plus many other things including complete and utter incredulity at the sheer lack of common sense and vilification of our most vulnerable citizens.

I’m sure you’ve all been aware of the stories regarding ATOS, Work Capability Assessments (WCA), Employment Support Allowance (ESA), Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), Job Centre Plus (JCP), Universal Credit (UC), Contribution Based, Income Based, 365 day rule, and those are just off the top of my head without even looking at others!

Oops forgot Working Tax Credit (WTC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), Pension Credit (PC), Housing Benefit (HB), Council Tax Benefit (CTB) and The Removal Of The Spare Room Subsidy (AKA “Bedroom Tax”) ok think that’s them all oh blimey no it’s not last one Benefit Cap (BC)!

I feel like I’m in the No One Expects The Spanish Inquisition sketch of Monty Python Fame! Sadly though there is no comfy chair, soft cushions, cup of tea at 11am with chocolate biscuits nor a nice warm fire to sit beside.

So all these changes have been rushed through. Yes changes can be good but so many, so fast at a time of great upheaval? Well that’s not my place to decide but it could have been a sensible idea to stagger these changes in a more measured way. All of these changes all at once leaves the staff administrating them confused because there is simply too many things. Some people on the old system (which if we are honest not all JCP workers were really, hand on heart, fully knowledgable or expert in; no disrespect but it’s the truth).

Let’s take a look this evening at Universal Credit (UC); I had to start somewhere & this was the lucky topic. hastily adds in the intro *whistles* aha done.

Universal Credit is in theory a good idea. All benefits for which you are eligible are paid in one monthly payment. Bit like a salary, so far so good wake up it’s not that boring I can see you nodding off oops talking to Siri not you.

That seems logical, from this amount you pay your;

1. own rent direct to your landlord,

2. Council Tax
(a percentage depending on your council)

3. Pilot schemes were started in certain areas of the North West on April 15th 2013. The full national roll out was supposed to start in October 2013. It hasn’t!

The problem is that so few new people went to claim this benefit and of those who did found during the mandatory way to claim via computer/online, saw the programme crash!

It couldn’t even cope with a limited number of users in a small area. The JCP staff were then having to write down all of the claimants answers and then input manually after the client had left!

This was supposed to be a benefit scheme to make claims easier & faster.

This has not happened, here we are almost into the festive season and there are some people claiming under Universal Credit but their neighbour is claiming under another system & may be in receipt of a differing amount when the circumstances of these neighbours are virtually identical.

Another possible problem could be the people receiving the rent money in with their benefit instead of it going directly to the landlord. In winter months when it’s cold would the person pay the rent over or would they spend it on heating their home?

This would by no means be every person but if you’re kids are cold & hungry would you put the kids needs first or paying your (possibly very rich) Landlord?

Obviously in comparison to the situation of the claimant & their perception of the Landlord’s situation then it is likely that the claimant would (wrongly in law but rightly in respect of their children) think the Landlord can afford to wait, arrears could mount up quite swiftly!

This is an ethical dilemma in my humble opinion; if the claimant is dealt with under the old system then the rent is paid direct but they are at risk of using loan sharks or payday loan companies in order to feed & keep their children warm in winter.

Conversely the claimant on the new system may see the cash available in their account & rather than resort to loan sharks and payday loan companies they decide to use the rent money & then go into rent arrears.

Being in rent arrears is a less scary option (well it would be to me) because the landlord is unlikely to come round & beak your legs but a loan shark would.

So we have a few thousand on this scheme and very little in the news to tell us how people are legitimately coping with the system. Is it better? Is it a much easier & better system for the claimants? We really need to know about these facts but again the media is silent, the Government are silent.

Is this silence an indication of the fact the system is not working or is it so they can use it as the results as political ammunition as the elections approach?

Ok that was my whistlestop (Yes it was don’t be cranky I’m doing my best) basic explanation of Universal Credit.

What do you think?

Are you on that benefit? If so please let us all know what you think about it & is it working for you & your family?

Ok that’s my first of what could be many blogs on each of these welfare systems.

I’ve said what I think it’s all about if you know more please share & help us understand because I could have interpreted it wrongly. I’m not perfect & by no means do I ever want to be – what fun would I be if I were perfect I think my wheels of steel would rust up in protest lol.

Ok hope to hear your views & experiences.

Happy Thursday 😃⭐️♿️💜

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Tired Of Inept Mismanagement Of Our Nation?

It appears that no matter who is power there is such catastrophic mismanagement of our country

In the past 25 years or so I have seen the general decline of our country, our people and our finances. This decline also coincides with our ever close ties with the constant demand for more & more money from the European Union.

There is a direct correlation between the signing of the Maastricht and Lisbon Treaties. Each treaty nibbling away at our political power to self govern, our legal system by imposing laws & precedents created by the Judicial arm of the EU, our ability to trade with countries not part of the EU. Think back & I’m sure you will see the decline & changes that have made the UK as it is now!

Judges are being surprised at Supreme Court Level that despite the so called opt outs we were told we had with regard to the Fundamental Human Rights clauses. It appears we do not have these opt outs and a court in Luxembourg has decided that these clauses are indeed applicable to us.

So yet again we have been misled & given misinformation, this isn’t only aimed to us mere plebs but also to our eminently qualified & highly respected judiciary. It is a sad state of affairs when a judge in our country finds out that he cannot decide a case on the basis of what he believed the law to be; but that he must concede to a precedent set in Luxembourg. This ridiculous state of affairs forces him to decide the case in a manner that he feels is at odds with what our domestic law would allow.

It appears that when dear old Gordon Brown (our ex Prime Minister & the same man who has been seen in Parliament less than the Queen) signed us up to the Lisbon Treaty. He signed away much more than any of us were told or even realised. This continuous erosion of self determination is like they’ve not only sold the gold at a cut price but they’ve sold the family silver, the fine art that adorns our Corridors of Power!

We all know that we have been promised referenda at almost every election since 1997 by Labour & Conservatives.

The Lib Dems have actually been consistent on their stance with regard to their love of the EU, so they may have let students down re the University Fees but they’ve stuck to their guns on the EU.

Cameron appears to flip flop one week he’s Eurosceptic but then he’s not! He has promised a referendum but reneged. Now there is the referendum lock, so will the powers extracted from our legal system count as a sufficient reason to invoke this lock?

I doubt it very much as it will most likely be passed off as not being a new erosion of powers. We all know how Cast Iron Dave and Co will spin it!

Cameron has promised a referendum but only if his party win a majority in 2015. Well that’s as likely to happen as I am of riding my Dyson to the moon. He’s also said that should he be in the position to give said referenda that he will vote & campaign to stay in!

So folks, we the people have little option. Our government wishes to have us move ever closer to a federal state. Whilst our people & countless millions of others all over the EU are all saying No More!

They have had the unhappy experience of the EURO pushed on them also. So glad we didn’t get pushed into joining up to that currency! Lord knows how many millions more people would be on benefits if we had joined the Euro.

So you’re wondering where our country’s finances fits in? Well it fits in to the above on so many levels.

a) The amount of taxpayers money it costs to run the ever expanding bureaucracy & pay all those commissioners who we don’t know & haven’t elected! (What happened to democracy it appears the EU doesn’t actually believe in that)

b) £53m per day is sent to Brussels/Strasbourg. Imagine if the UK retained that money. There are so many ways that money could be spent which would actually benefit the people of the UK. (Yes, I know that our Government past & present haven’t really been any good at balancing the books – I live in the eternal hope one day there will be a Chancellor who will be able to add up).

c) The money we send to the EU is borrowed money. So the Government have to basically give an IOU to whomever in order to pay the EU subscription. So then our tax burdens increase because the money borrowed has interest payable on it so the tax take of the Treasury must increase & that means the people are fleeced every which way & those in the most desperate need are being left to fend for themselves.

d) The total mismanagement of every penny our Country spends is like you or I take a Loan from Wonga for £100,000,000 & not paying it back on time. Imagine the APR on that when the advert says it’s APR is equivalent to 3800% (*figures used as an example for comparison purposes only).

e) We are sinking further into debt every second of every day yet our wonderful elected MP’s have decided they can have a whopping 11% pay rise plus the expenses they claim. Even after the initial scandal we are still being billed to pay for heating stables, paper clips, housing renovation etc etc! (I’m not joking about this at all).

So we basically have people elected to do our bidding basically taking the fat of the taxpayers contributions to the treasurer but they are also taking the meat & bone! Leaving the people at the bottom (you and me) with bugger all!

Taxes both direct & indirect are increasing day by day. Our living standards are dropping to levels not seen since before WWII!

People are having to cope with;
1) living in overcrowded homes,
2) cost of transport increases,
3) Increased domestic fuel bills,
4) Higher food costs,
5) Lower wages,
6) Negligible pay rises or pay drops,

Then you hear of the companies & people who dodge paying their share of tax on their true earnings within the UK. The massive payoffs given to public servants when they’ve been so monumentally rubbish at their jobs!

There are so many examples of public sector mismanagement and yet again it’s the poor old Tax Payer left to foot the bill!

When you have read this let me know if I’ve got these things wrong? Do you agree with the way your taxes are used & wasted?

Please think about all of this points & how the declining personal income is affecting your family.

How the rises in the costs of petrol, bus travel, train travel etc has affected you & yours.

Think about all the departments and the spending on what we consider is unnecessary, such as the £180,000 spent in one year for bottled water by just one Government Department! Yes it’s true google it & you’ll see.

How many books would that amount of money have bought for our kids in schools? That is just one department I wonder what the total cost is over all the departments? Let me know if you find out.

Then just think about how all the promises made at elections are supposedly to make our lives better, give us more cash in our wallets etc. How often have you felt better off after the election?

Think of this over the next 200 days & that takes you to the next local election and the European election. Then think about who you will trust in 560 ish days at the General Election.

It maybe that you decide the old 3 parties need to find out that they work for US!
If you come to that decision then don’t think your vote is a waste of time. Every vote is vital, use your vote wisely, use it to show you’re the boss.

You can take part in a peaceful revolution! It is simple & will be fabulously successful. How can I do that you’re asking!

Well again the answer is simple, vote for any other person or party that are not Labour, Conservative or Lib Dem. You must hit them at the ballot box, your vote matters & will give you the power back.

It is your vote, it belongs to you & not to any other person or political party. They all go on about Party A taking Votes that belong to Party B! That is untrue because the vote belongs to YOU!

You decide who to lend your vote to. Give others a chance if it is possible. What do you have to lose in voting for someone else rather than the usual?

Many of you who read this may have thought “what’s the point in voting we only get the same crud just a new talking head telling us how they understand what it’s like to live like us” – there is a point! You can make the biggest difference ever! You can be part of the revolution simply by putting your X next to any party or person who are not part of the Lib/Lab/Con Party!

So show then who’s boss, show them they’ve pushed you too far, show them you have given them enough time to make good their promises and lend your vote to someone or some party who could really do some good for you & your community.

I shall leave it to you to decide where you X goes, I know where mine is going. Yours is between you, your conscience & the ballot box.

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