Breaking: new delay to Universal Credit roll-out as DWP incompetence gives some vulnerable reprieve


uc breakdown
The despair of an impoverished UC claimant

The BBC has just announced that the government’s planned full roll-out of the hated Universal Credit system to all claimants has been delayed – again – by a further nine months.

Vulnerable people in this country cannot hope for compassion or sense preventing this government pushing ahead with a system it knows will inflict desperate poverty on millions. However, the Tories’ fundamental incompetence has on this occasion at least given a reprieve to benefit claimants who have not already been ‘migrated’ through a process that – by design – will cut off claimants’ income for weeks and then give many of them £48 a week less compared to already-low support.

Tragically, this announcement will do nothing to help those already suffering under this consciously-cruel system.

The urgent need for a Labour government is unmissable no matter where you look.

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  1. Just scrap the useless bastard thing altogether, and have done with it.

    Oh, and the same goes for universal credit.

    1. I am concerned, because apart from reading about John Mcdonnell wanting Universal Credit scrapped, there has been no official pledge by Labour to scrap Universal Credit.

      This just reminds me of let downs by previous Labour governments. Lots of left wing noises that don’t translate into action.

      Labour must pledge to scrap Universal Credit now. ASAP.

      1. Update …

        Excuse me if I feel depressed and cynical…


  2. Even in opposition, Labour has been successful again and again in forcing the Tories to change direction, as in this case.

    1. The only acceptable change of direction is to scrap it. Not delay it. Only McDonnell has openly said it should be scrapped as far as I’m aware.

  3. From the Home Office website:

    What is meant by ‘terrorism’ in the proscription context?

    A. “Terrorism” as defined in the Act, means the use or threat which: involves serious violence against a person; involves serious damage to property; endangers a person’s life (other than that of the person committing the act); creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the
    public or section of the public; or is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system. The use or threat of such action must be designed to influence the government or an international governmental organisation or to intimidate the public or a section of the public and be undertaken for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.

    I think we can have the Tory party proscribed as a terrorist organisation.

  4. In my area roll out of UC was delayed from spring to autumn this year because we are a marginal seat – they did the same to everywhere that was marginal. It was a purely political move because of the likelihood of a general election. So too today. They know UC will cause huge pain and problems. There’s no intention of reducing hardship, UC was designed to do harm. It’s purely because we are likely to have a GE in the next few months.

    1. On reading your post Florence it suddenly occured to me that I haven’t seen an opinion poll re voting intentions in a GE for a couple of months or more. So I went on to the Survation website to see if there was a recent poll on there and, in the process, happened to come across the following survey of Jewish people (and also the population in general) regards JC and the LP, albeit conducted at the end of August. Just goes to show how effective the smears and distortions and faux outrage ARE, although of course most Jewish people are Tory voters anyway. But what I found amazing though was the percentage that believe that being anti-zionist equates to being anti-Jewish, albeit in a 2015 poll which is referred to at the end:


      1. And there was also another survey – presumably conducted in August (although nothing comes up when you click on it) – in which 46% of children worry about returning to school because of bullying. How incredibly sad, on the one hand, and totally outrageous on the other, that the bullies aren’t being dealt with. And of course these same little sadistic psychopaths go on to bully in the workplace, or wherever.

      2. It does show the power of the press. But worrying responses, for those of us who have lived with the reality of a none racist Labour party. It seems that it is more a measure of the effect of press saturation with what are essentially lies – because we know that the parallel polls show a lower level of anti Semitism in the Labour party than either the general population or other political parties. I also find worrying the apparent contradictions between the higher levels of support for the Tories and the higher incidence of anti Semitism in that community. I guess what we can take away is that you can fool most of the people most of the time? Or that he who pays the piper gets to chose the tune?

      3. There was a poll from 2015 unearthed by Michael Rosen recently, which showed that under Ed Miliband MORE Jews “were thinking about leaving the country” than at present under Jeremy Corbyn. I think it was conducted by the Jewish Chronicle or one of those papers…

  5. A reprieve for those not yet under UC is very good but so many are already suffering all sorts of hardship, stress and even suicide and perhaps early death where it has been introduced.

    It appears LP is not committed to scrap UC as McDonnell said on TV. recently but is still going for the “root and branch review”.

    I hope LP’s root and branch review is well advanced because what happens in the meantime, where it has been introduced, in the event of a Labour government?

    1. UC is clearly designed to cause maximum damage to as many ordinary people as possible. The intent in its creation, whether by accident or design, is malign.

      That needs to be turned around by an incoming Labour Government. Looking at how that might occur, in terms of practicalities, one potential option is to use the structure of the system in the opposite direction to that malign intent.

      As far as I can comprehend the structure of the UC system it is designed to replace a myriad of differing existing social security payment systems which operate separately from each other. Much like the silo/stove piping nonsense you find in most organisations today and which did for Carillion.

      Given the likely impact of the current iteration of automation and technological substitution of jobs arising from AI – along with the number of unfullfilling soul destroying bullshit jobs which already exist – at some points rapidly approaching there will be a necessity to ntroduce some form of basic income system which recognises the existing and emergent reality that is unfolding.

      Such an approach would require a system based on a single and simplified payment structure which would need to have built in safeguards such as continuous maintenance of payment value across a range of differing needs as a minimum.

      One wonders if this is anywhere near anyone’s thinking close to the policy making apparatus in the LP?

      1. I agree with much of your comment.

        I am not in favour of UBI at this time or near future unless we get control of our governments and systems or force a systemic and wealth inequality change in favour of the many.

        Technologies and AI and decisions about which, how and even if we use some of them should be under our honestly and fully informed, openly discussed, truly democratic control. In the past most of the advantages of new technologies have not gone to the workers, who lost jobs and pay but to Capitalist profits, the Rentier sectors and classes and the resultant increasing wealth concentration has enabled the elite vested interests to have far too much control over our governments, state structures, media output, digital space and even laws via an array of mechanisms, lobbying and think tanks funded by private interests being prominent ones.

        Couple digital and other tech advances, UBI based system with a cashless society (which I vehemently oppose) and there is a perfect recipe for the ultimate totalitarian control structure.

        Public discussion, dissenting views, information sharing and ideas are already being repressed via censorship in the main online ‘town squares’ via collusion between government, hegemonic private corporates and right wing/pro war/pro privatisation think tanks sanctioning and removing dissenting, monitoring, documenting and information pages.
        We all know what is happening to silence, side line and smear dissent and ‘not acceptable’ voices (aka repress) in the MSM and political sphere and which voices and opinions are being amplified.

      2. Dave

        Given how Jobcentre staff are now totally accustomed to treating claimants like shit, I’d say when Labour get in the DWP ought to be scrapped and re-launched under a new name with its old (pre-Blair) values. The staff should be made to re-apply for their jobs under a strict new regime of respect, empathy and courtesy.

      3. “Couple digital and other tech advances, UBI based system with a cashless society (which I vehemently oppose) and there is a perfect recipe for the ultimate totalitarian control structure.”

        Further to my quoted comment, here’s Prof Richard Werner in a long conversation at Rhodes Forum recently. The bit I wish to highlight is his response to the last question @ 1.12.03. Well worth listening to the whole conversation and Q & A, which is over 1 hour, to put his response in proper context. We really have to think carefully about where a cashless society/only digital currency + UBI could lead us, even if you are not open to Prof Werner’s thinking do at least think about downsides to being monitored and controlled via digital only currency whatever name it is given.

    2. I have to say, Labour’s continuation of Universal Credit, should Labour win the next general election, would be a monumental betrayal of the working class.

      It would damage Corbyn and the Labour Party irreversibly.

      I’m dismayed, shocked and sickened by Labour’s silence over the issue of scrapping Universal Credit.

      1. Ella, are we sure that just scrapping it is the answer, it is mostly the way it is currently administered and the level of financial support. meaning it might be quicker to increase the benfits significantly, pay out from day one, and act from medical advice rather than untrained personnel interviewing.

        That being – nationalise the system run from proper job centres and restart professional training for all job centre personnel.

        If this is scrapped, how do we get money quickly to people in the amounts that they need? Clearly real interviews need to take place to assess real needs backed up by real Doctors advice.

        No one should have benefits cut off, at any time, which is the Tories way to force people into low paid work.

      2. YES Ella scrap the UC (Utter Contempt ?).
        How does any True Labour Person get conned by this rubbish Tory policy?
        It seems there is much naivety in Labour ranks.
        People should read the likes of Richard Murphy, Robert Skidelsky, Joe Stiglitz, Prof Michael Hudson & many more anti-neo-liberal economics / anti-Hayek-economics.
        How much QE has the Tory Govt done?
        Who in the Establishment Financial Advice Service have admitted they made mistakes – Merv King , Sir Nicholas Macpherson, let alone Giddy-on Osborne ………….

  6. Universal Cruelty exists to inflict misery upon the working class. It fits into the Tories austerity agenda.

    Labour must commit to scrapping it, and I’m concerned that this has not been made a pledge by Labour.

    1. Ella, UC has been car crash after car crash, but always with Tories driving.
      I don’t know if they’re caused by the idiots who built it or the idiots who drove it but obviously it may be both, given that they’re all Tories.
      It may be repairable or it may be a write-off – sometimes you can’t tell until you get right underneath it with a really bright light.

  7. Not clear whether they have suspended roll out or have just drawn out the end date for completed roll out. Talk of some extra money but at the moment this is wooly and to those living in fear more bullshit

  8. Yes scrap UC and end sanctions!
    My little Unite Communiy trade union branch retired members (most are Labour members but not all) have been outside the largest Empolyment Office in our city this week.
    We have access to some community rooms in the next street and we are exploring if we could possibly have this as a drop-in centre for the unwaged who could just come in for a free tea or coffee and biscuits and we may able to get some volunteers to offer advice for example if some people are sanctioned.
    The first stage – a survey- is to talk to the claimants and to ask their ideas for support we could try to offer and so far a lot have said advice and a drop-in would be a good idea.
    We also are giving out booklets on food banks etc. in our city and we hope to get these in libraries.
    But also importantly we are also giving out our Unite Comminity leaflet which counters the dominant Right Wing Narrative based on evidence of how the upper class welfare state is subsidised to the hilt for example corporate welfare is £79b a year – the equivalent of £3,500 per household (Chakrobaty) so we are trying to give oppressed people the arguments to build a more progressive common sense.
    It is early days but a number of these, our fellow citizens, after a short conversation are shaking our hands as we part.
    Yes it is early days but we would hope some will join our union but we recognise to some £2.60 a month is a lot but we may then approach the main Unite union to see if they will stand those who have nothing who would like to be ‘Part of the Union.’
    We have heard some horror stories and we do not approach people going in (they could be sanctioned for being late) but it is heartbreaking to see people coming out – they all seem to look bloody depressed!
    So we need to treat people with respect and such services should be there to help not police citizens plus we need decent welfare for all whilst making the rich pay their full whack!
    But you dear reader, yes YOU reading this now, you too could help to counter the dominant Right Wing Narrative and whilst trying to politicise diverse working class people more, we can all also step up the political attacks on the Right Wing Tory Neo-Liberal Barbarians!

    1. There are all kinds of problems with Universal Credit. One of the most insidious ones is the way employers become responsible and take charge of sick staff and staff absence. This seems Dickensian.?

      The old system didn’t have these sinister things built into it.

  9. According to my MP’s office, this is wrong! Those areas already in rollout will carry on – disability etc notwithstanding; no adjustments will be made.

  10. Like every other policy announcement by the Tories this one should be taken with a huge pinch of salt,in effect they are saying they’ll slow down the roll out of the disastrous and expensive uc programme and sometime,maybe might find some more money for it.Claimants can pay loans back over a longer period of time and might get some money sooner!Seriously people believe this is good ?Millions of people ,the majority working poor and sick or disabled are having their lives destroyed by this vile policy,children are going hungry and people are dying now.Because of the way it’s structured every single person on it immediately loses a month’s worth of money just by being on this benefit,imagine the outrage if they tried taking a month’s wages from the general population!The Tories tame msm are selling this to the public as a positive but there is little substance to the plans and it’s purpose is solely to divert the criticism which was building fuelled by the horror stories of this suffering under this appalling regime of conscious cruelty.Labour need to stand up and promise to get rid of uc immediately,revert to the legacy benefits system which had as it was at least worked.

  11. Ella’s dismay chimes with my own.

    I’ll put to one side my concerns about the use of off the cuff comments by JMcD and I really don’t want to see blame transferring to the LP. How convenient would that be for those who have been implementing the policy and its roll out?

    I think McDonnell makes it pretty clear in the Sky interview, as a whole, that a review, never mind an alternative policy, is desperately needed rather than actually under way. We can hardly blame those representing people facing the brutality of UC, for seeing a glimmer of hope in his comments; but we can blame the MSM.

    Who is the shadow spokesperson for this aspect of policy?

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