HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US      
 

 
GREATER MANCHESTER PETITION TO HALT UNIVERSAL CREDIT
 

Star date: 20th October 2017

OPEN LETTER FROM GREATER MANCHESTER TO SECRETARY OF STATE

Previous to the humiliating defeat of the Tory Government this week, Greater Manchester Housing Action launched a petition calling for a halt to the roll-out of Universal Credit.

The petition is in the form of an open letter to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions..."We believe that we should not stand for such wilful ignorance of the impacts of the new system" it states "We urge individuals, groups, organisations, MPs, councillors, landlords and housing associations to stand in solidarity against the Universal Credit roll-out."

Full details here...


This week, the Tory Government was defeated in the House of Commons during a Labour Party motion calling for a halt to the roll-out of Universal Credit. The Opposition won by 299 votes to 0, with even a Tory MP supporting it.

The vote came amidst many horror stories of people living in destitution as a result of being put on the new benefit, which replaces all previous benefits for those of working age. Just before the vote, Greater Manchester Housing Action launched a 38 Degrees petition also calling for a halt to the roll-out of Universal Credit, which spells out all the dangers...

"We believe that we should not stand for such wilful ignorance of the impacts of the new system" it states "We urge individuals, groups, organisations, MPs, councillors, landlords and housing associations to stand in solidarity against the Universal Credit roll-out. As this catastrophe unfolds the shortcomings and blind spots of UC have increasingly become clear.

The petition cites six issues which are of the most concern...

1. People are experiencing waits of six to twelve weeks (sometimes longer) for their first payment of Universal Credit. Consequently, people are spiralling into debt and rent arrears which they may find it impossible to recover from.

2. Universal Credit claims can only be processed online through a system called verify which cannot be completed without requisite ID or computer access. Some of the most vulnerable people, such as those who are disabled, precariously housed, homeless or non-UK citizens, find it extremely difficult to claim. This both lengthens the waiting period for first payments and makes it difficult for individuals to maintain their claims, putting them at risk of sanctions.

3. Sanctions are being applied erratically and arbitrarily in relation to UC. There is mounting evidence highlighting unfair use of sanctions, for example individuals have received them for being at work and missing their work focused interview. Full service roll-out will also bring housing benefit into the realm of sanctions, directly increasing the risk of evictions and homelessness.

4. Under UC many will see a reduction in their financial entitlement and will be living off substantially less money. In some cases individuals will be around £100-£300 less well off per month than on previous legacy benefits like Employment and Support Allowance and Severe Disability Premium. Disabled people and those with debilitating heath conditions will be pushed further into poverty as a result.

5. Young People aged 18-25 will be disproportionately affected by UC, for example, those aged between 18-21 will not be entitled to housing benefit under UC unless in an exempt category. The exemptions will not cover thousands of at risk young people, resulting in mounting debt and homelessness.

6. Evidence suggests that UC is pushing more children and families into poverty. Unjust elements of UC like the two child limit do not support working or non-working families. Direct links to welfare reform, specifically UC are causing professionals to highlight the risk of more children going into care and families becoming homeless.

The petition calls on the Government to "halt the roll-out while all of the problems are reviewed, to avoid creating unnecessary suffering. Universal Credit, if rolled out in its current form, is a Universal Catastrophe that will place an unsustainable burden on the finances of local authorities, charitable organisations and support services who will ultimately be left to pick up the pieces..."

The campaign against Universal Credit roll-out is gathering pace, despite the Government's determination to press ahead with it. The Greater Manchester Law Centre has refused to "be complicit" in the roll-out, and Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, has also publicly criticised the process, citing figures from two areas of Greater Manchester where Universal Credit has been piloted...

Burnham states: "Figures from First Choice Homes Oldham, the largest local social landlord, show that:

• The percentage of customers who are in arrears for self-payers and Housing Benefit recipients currently stands at 18% whereas for Universal Credit customers this is 68%;

• 25% of their tenants on Universal Credit are having legal action taken against them to recover rent, including possession proceedings, and 15 families on Universal Credit have already been evicted;

• The rental income of social landlords is also being hit, with First Choice Homes forecasting that their rental income will decrease by £1m per annum as a result of Universal Credit changes.

"Experiences in Wigan have reinforced this" he adds "They have found that:

• In council tenancies across Wigan borough the proportion of Universal Credit claimants in arrears with their rent is 80.4%, compared with 36.7% for those tenancies where Universal Credit is not claimed;

•The average arrears on a standard tenancy stand at £124.13 whereas the figure on a Universal Credit tenancy is £448.34."


To sign the Greater Manchester Housing Action petition – click here


See also previous Salford Star article: Greater Manchester Law Centre Boycott's Universal Credit – the "new poll tax" – click here

Ms Lawrence wrote
at 15:26:28 on 03 July 2018
Dear Sir/ Madame, I think this U.C. needs drastic reform before being operational. The wait time is a big problem and also particularly for citizens in this country who maybe will not be able or have or can afford the photo. I.D. , e.g. passport or driving license, it is terrible that people who have got on their feet which they are supposed to can be pushed back down. Also many people need to have the rent paid to the landlord direct.Often their are inaccuracies with the mail service and people living in dodgy neighbourhoods who can have mail stolen or even that being used as an excuse to pocket the money. This resulting in people thinking genuine complainers of this are making it up, Ms Lawrence
 
Maria Maguire wrote
at 21:03:25 on 05 November 2017
Why aren't we marching protesting against this injustice? We should be on the streets demonstrating. The over privileged, out of touch bastards won't last another election get the Tory scabs out never to return. They can F**K OFF! *sings oh Jeremy Corbin * Thanks
 
Scott Russell wrote
at 14:13:02 on 22 October 2017
Already been evicted because of it why would anyone give someone with an alcahol addiction cash to pay his own rent feel let down they knew I had the problem but still paid the cash to me
 
Mike wrote
at 18:37:14 on 21 October 2017
UC does not take into account those with complex needs. An example of this is the removal of the disability component of tax credits worth £3000 to those who are only able to work 16-35 hours due to illness/disability. Many of these people are also struggling in self-employment and the roll out of UC will force them to give up their businesses and claim ESA/JSA equivalents.
 
Mark Turnbull wrote
at 16:48:30 on 20 October 2017
This policy is a failure, particularly in terms of the 6 week wait
 
Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Salford Star Hoodies
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: SALFORD PEOPLE TO JUDGE WHETHER PLANNING COUNCILLOR BROKE RULES
I fully agree with Joey, but the point I was trying to say was if there is full permeability on the whole site, then people from c... [more]
article: SALFORD PEOPLE TO JUDGE WHETHER PLANNING COUNCILLOR BROKE RULES
@ wrote: "As for borrowing money to carry out the improvements, this loan would have to be paid back, therefore rents would have t... [more]
article: A YEAR AFTER SALFORD CLADDING SCANDAL INDEPENDENT TENANTS MEETING TO BE HELD
I have said it time and time again. Until the residents are in charge themselves,there will never be any progress. There is enough... [more]
article: PETITION AND PROTEST PLANNED OVER SALFORD SCHOOL HEAD TEACHER SUSPENSION
Petition?!?!? We don’t even know what they are accused of yet!! If it’s serious then those signing the petition before they have... [more]
article: PETITION AND PROTEST PLANNED OVER SALFORD SCHOOL HEAD TEACHER SUSPENSION
Poor record keeping means fraud. How can you have a petition when nobody actually knows what the suspension was for. Counc... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

SALFORD QUAYS DEVELOPER TO AVOID £1MILLION PAYMENT WHILE NO AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROVIDED

Star date: 17th July 2018

FURNESS QUAY DEVELOPER PROVIDES NO AFFORDABLE HOUSING ON HUGE APARTMENT SCHEME

Salford's planning scandal is to go up another gear this week when an application by developer De Trafford for 421 apartments in blocks up to 27 storeys high on the site of Furness Quay is considered by councillors. Thanks to Salford City Council policies, the developer will be providing no affordable properties, while, through 'viability' assessments it is set to avoid over £1million in planning fees.

Meanwhile, the English Cities Fund (ECf) is continuing its secrecy in relation to new apartments and an office development around Chapel Street and New Bailey.

Full details here...

A YEAR AFTER SALFORD CLADDING SCANDAL INDEPENDENT TENANTS MEETING TO BE HELD

Star date: 16th July 2018

CLADDING, SECURITY, FIRE SAFETY AND MORE TO BE DISCUSSED AT PENDLEON TENANTS MEETING

As the Grenfell Tower victims said, before the tragic fire their warnings were not listened to by the authorities. Now tenants in Spruce Court, Pendleton, who are still living with the dangerous cladding, have called an independent meeting for tomorrow, Tuesday, 17th July, to discuss cladding, security and more, while Thorn Court residents are also complaining about the same issues.

Full details here...

PETITION AND PROTEST PLANNED OVER SALFORD SCHOOL HEAD TEACHER SUSPENSION

Star date: 15th July 2018

SCHOOL PROTEST PLANNED OVER HARROP FOLD HEAD AND STAFF SUSPENSION

After Salford City Council suspended Harrop Fold School Head, Drew Povey, and three other staff members last week, supporters have launched a petition to reinstate them, while pupils and parents are planning a protest at the school this Thursday.

Full details here...

FANGIRL CELEBRATION OF SUPER-FANS COMES TO SALFORD FOR GM FRINGE

Star date: 15th July 2018

FOR THOSE WHO GO THE EXTRA MILE IN PURSUIT OF AN ICON

Fangirl by Quina Chapman
Thursday 19th and Friday 20th July
Kings Arms 7pm £6

Do you go the extra mile in pursuit of an icon? Fangirl, at the Kings Arms this Thursday and Friday, deconstructs the 'condition' through songs, rhymes and laughs. A Greater Manchester Fringe must-see, enthuses Ian Leslie.

Full details here...

THOUSANDS ATTEND TRUMP GO HOME RALLY MANCHESTER

Star date: 14th July 2018

DONALD TRUMP... 'THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS LEADER SINCE THE 1930s' 

Thousands of people packed Albert Square in Manchester last night to voice anger over US President Donald Trump's visit to the UK. Groups from every section of society that Trump has dissed were represented on stage – from Mexican dancers to an ex-US soldier, to trade unions, peace, climate change, refugee, LGBT and women's rights campaigners, plus spokespeople for youth and children. 

To kick off the evening, Manchester councillor, Pat Karney, called Trump "The most dangerous leader since the 1930s...we have to stop the ideas of Trump going across the world..."

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx