Iain Duncan Smith has recently made a statement that the Universal Credit will be rolled out on time. This comes as a surprise to me for many reasons. The first being if it does come out on time it will be one of the first Government schemes to do so.
The second reason being is that no-one seems to fully understand how it’s going to work.
Even the pilot schemes were delayed, so how can it be said that it will roll out on time?
There seems to me to be several flaws with this new system, and flaws that have not been highlighted by any of the other media. With Universal Credit all payments will be lumped together into one monthly sum.
So instead of receiving JSA, DLA, or whatever payment once a fortnight a recipient will receive their payment once a month along with their housing benefit. This sounds great, on paper it looks far more efficient. If all payments can be joined together into one lump sum so much the better for the bureaucracy; but what about the individual?
This may sound like nit picking, but what about those people who have problems for one reason or another, in budgeting?
With the new system the individual will have the responsibility to make payments to landlords when their benefits arrive. Again on the surface all well and good, but what about those people who have had long stay’s in assisted accommodation, or people who are struggling with addictions.
From personal experience if I were faced with a months rent plus a months unemployment payment at my disposal when I was drinking I could not promise to allocate any of the money in a responsible way.
What about those people who are dealing with their own addictions by self medication? again I speak from personal experience. One of the things that kept me disciplined when I was first coming of alcohol was the fortnightly payments.
In far too many ways I can see the Universal Credit being an invitation to fail, not for everyone, not for the majority of people on benefit. But for those few who have trouble coping with things as they are now.
Iain Duncan Smith has said that Universal Credit will save tax payers money but how can this be possible when one of the first results of the new system is redundancy in staff from the DSS and local councils. How can an increase in the number of unemployed do anything but put up the amount of money spent in this area?
There have been claims from various bodies that there does not yet exist the technological back up to implement the scheme. Is it at all possible that Iain Duncan Smith is hoping that the launch of Universal Credit may yet win the present Government some much needed good publicity and votes in the up coming election?
Are the present government trying to buy more votes at the cost of more suffering for those all ready at the sharp end of some many other Tory policy’s. If the Government needs to raise more money wouldn’t it be easier to dip into the pockets of those who already have money rather than making things harder for those who have so little already.