“It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”
Hubert H. Humphrey
With all the Brxit chaos, the plight of the most vulnerable members of our society – including disabled people and the low paid – seems to be increasingly overlooked. This, one of the greatest social injustices of our time, means an additional 400,000 children in the UK will be pushed into poverty by benefit changes, including the roll-out of Universal Credit
The study found that the freeze on most working-age benefits will see around 7.5 million low income households have their benefit entitlements cut by more than £500 per year in real terms. The limiting of tax credits and universal credit to two children will leave some low income families with £2,500 less in benefits than they otherwise would have received, the report says.
Before continuing please take the following actions to end Universal Credit
Two petitions from 38degrees
Abolish Universal Credit
Pause the rollout of Universal Credit
Petition from the Labour party
Theresa May: pause and fix Universal Credit now
More suggested actions further down
The reality of Universal Credit (UC) as a mother of two is unable to pay her rent, forced to use a food bank, choose between gas and electricty and take out a £900 debt as a result of delays in payment
Mum-of-two reveals Universal Credit delays forced her to choose between gas and electricity while relying on foodbanks to feed children
Even severely disabled people are not exempt, in fact one of the policy’s most shameful parts is barely being noticed: the hidden cut being forced on some of Britain’s most severely disabled people. Philip, mentioned in the article below, who has multiple disabilities is losing £40 per week after changing to UC. He cannot afford to eat properly and skips meals which is affecting is health. He now has rent arrears of over £450.
This article shows the hidden cut being forced on some of Britain’s most severely disabled people.
Universal credit’s hidden cut pushes disabled people into poverty
Note the following from the article above:
“Up to half a million disabled people like Philip and their families will be financially worse off under universal credit, according to disability charities, through the removal of the disability premiums, as well as cuts to child disability payments, which could affect 100,000 children at an annual loss of £1,000. Ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and it states that the support given by SDP is now provided through personal independence payments, (Pip) and social care from local councils, and that “transitional protection” will be available when disabled people are moved from ESA on to universal credit in 2019. But press further, and it turns out that cash-strapped local authorities have no obligation to provide support. And there is no help for disabled people like Philip who are transferred early.”
Concerning the treatment of disabled people a UN inquiry has said that the tories have created a “human catastrophe” for disabled people in the UK. The UN report has stated that the UK government have committed “grave” and “systematic” violations of human rights .
For more detail please read the following from The Canary
“Here are some of the main criticisms :
The UK government has forced through reforms with no regard for the rights of disabled people.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) “processed rather than listened to or understood” disabled people during Work Capability Assessments (WCA).
The WCA gave disabled people significant “anxiety” and “financial, material and psychological hardship”.
The Conservatives had introduced reforms that had evidently caused “high levels of stress, anxiety and depression”.
The UNCRPD was also critical of the Conservatives’:
- Cuts to Legal Aid.
- Failures to monitor how reforms were affecting disabled people.
- Welfare Reform Act 2012; specifically that it broke set international conventions on disabled people’s rights.
- WCA not recognising the complexity of disabled people’s conditions.
The report also specifically noted that the UK government had violated rights due to:
The Bedroom Tax.
Changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
Cuts to social care.
The abolition of the Independent Living Fund (ILF).
Caps on benefits.
Be sure to read the full details concerning the UN’s damning indictment of the UK’s treatment of sick and disabled people:
BREAKING: The UN has just accused the Tories of creating a ‘human catastrophe’ in the UK
Read about the controversial roll out of universal credit which with its seven weeks wait for payment of benefits – sometimes 60 days if there are delays – has left people unable to pay their rent, needing to resort to food banks and eventually getting into debt resulting in poverty and distress.
Severely disabled people will lose as much as £78.35 per week.
When faced with some difficult questions, this Tory minister’s silence over the DWP was deafening [VIDEO]
But Paula Peters from DPAC does not think UC is “working”, as the DWP says it is. She told The Canary:
UC will cause extreme poverty and distress for millions of claimants. Conditionality under UC will be the order of the day. And if claimants are unable to meet the stringent demands under the Claimant Commitment they will be sanctioned.
Under UC disabled people will find they will miss out on transition protection, and in many cases treated as a new claim. This means that severely disabled people stand to lose £78.35 per week, as UC has no severe disability or enhanced disability premium. This will plunge disabled people further into poverty. Research has already shown that the additional cost of being disabled is £500 a month, and with the removal of social security payments disabled people are unable to meet these costs.
But calling for UC to be paused does not go far enough. This system is deeply flawed and will cause, and is causing, mass distress and harm. It needs to be scrapped.
Below is an important damning quote from Thersea Degener chair Of UN committee on the rights of people with disabilities not reported by the media
Here are more real life accounts of the devastating affects of the Tories welfare reforms
Mum and new baby face Christmas eviction after WCA ‘nightmare
“A disabled woman with a new baby is set to be evicted a fortnight before Christmas because the Department for Work and Pensions stopped her benefits when she failed to attend a “fitness for work” test she had not been told about.”
“The mother-of-two said last night (Wednesday) that she felt as though she had been living through a “nightmare”.
She had previously had seven miscarriages, before giving birth through IVF to her first son Harrison, who is now three, and Edward, who was conceived naturally.
She said the ordeal DWP had put her through felt like “someone is standing on your head and pushing you under water”.
She said: “I feel numb by the whole ease with which they can destroy somebody.
“I know that some people have committed suicide [in situations like this]and I can totally see how something like that can happen. The system is so cruel.”
‘Selling everything’ because of universal credit
Holly Sargent first applied for universal credit eight months ago.
But administrative problems and her vulnerable mental health means 10 applications later she has still not received the benefit.
One poor women is expected to live on just one penny per month as a result of a UC Sanction, impossible of course.
Distraught pregnant woman must survive on 1p a month due to Universal Credit sanction
From top graduate to fleeing a bedsit – how Universal Credit nearly destroyed me
I waited months for Universal Credit. Then my landlord kicked me out and I was forced to move in with a man I didn’t know.
“Where are you living right now?”
“I’m just staying on his floor for now. It’s a bit dodgy because I have to leg it every Friday when the landlord’s son comes to collect the rent – he can’t know I’m living here.”
“You’d definitely be a priority for a place in refuge. How soon can you get here?”
I blinked. Some faceless person on the other end of a phone wanted to help me. I pushed down the flicker of hope that had ignited within me. There was probably a catch. I couldn’t trust that I might finally be free.
“If you text me when you arrive at the station, I’ll come and pick you up. I’ll text you my number now. See you soon.”
As promised the text came through. I sprang to life. Throwing the few belongings I had left into a suitcase, I began a journey that took me across London, to one of its outer suburbs. As promised, there was a car waiting. I was driven to a large, spacious house with a garden.
The case worker showed me to my room, gave me a bag of toiletries, then went back down the stairs. Once I was alone, I sank to the floor, completely numb. It was over. Being homeless, getting abused, was over.
But I was left with a question: how could this happen? How could Universal Credit change someone’s life so disastrously?
Regarding the opening quotation concerning the moral test of a government. It is obvious that the government have not passed such a moral test and never will. It is only Labour who have in the past fought for social justice regarding those who are vulnerable in our society. Why people continue to vote for the policies of injustice I can never understand as no one knows if they or those they care about will need benefits in the future.
As always you can contact your MP
Anger as ‘quarter of Universal Credit recipients in Leeds hit with sanctions’
A quarter of single unemployed people in the city have faced sanctions in the first year
Department for Work and Pensions refuses to disclose Universal Credit reports