Crippen reveals that the five week wait for Universal Credit is completely unnecessary

Have you heard the expression ‘evidence blindness’? Well, let me give you a clue; it’s what’s happening within our welfare system and in particular with regard to the large, unnecessary delays to benefits payments. And its chief architect Iain Duncan Smith now admits that it’s not even necessary!

Our journalistic friend Anoosh Chakelian, who’s had her teeth into Duncan Smith on more than one occasion, caught up with him again at a recent works and pensions select committee. He’d just told them that (the delay) was “never originally part of the structural plan for Universal Credit … and was completely unnecessary”.

This payment delay is one of the most damaging features of the welfare system, and which in some cases, owing to glitches in the system or a wait for a work capability assessment, this delay lasts even longer than five weeks and has led to many deaths amongst disabled claimants.

According to a report by the Social Security Advisory Committee, which warned against the extra “waiting days” proposed in 2015, a main consideration in the decision-making process was “… the need to deliver savings”.

It was also designed to mimic the month a regular salaried employee waits for their first pay cheque, which again is not evidence-based as more than half of Universal Credit claimants (58 per cent) were in fact paid weekly or fortnightly in their last job before claiming, according to research by Lloyds Banking Group.

In an article in the New Statesman, Anoosh writes: “ To continue shoehorning people into the spending and saving rhythms of monthly salaried workers exposes the same evidence-blindness as the return to sanctions and conditionality announced by the government on 29 June.

Such topsy-turvy policy-based evidence is at the heart of Universal Credit’s design, exposed more than ever by the new Covid-19 wave of claimants.”

Description of cartoon for those using screen reading software

An Asian woman is standing in front of Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) and is holding a large sheet of paper that reads ‘IDS says a 5 week wait for benefit is not necessary’. On the floor at her feet is another sheet that reads ‘thousands of disabled claimants die waiting for payment’. IDS is saying to her: “But who gives a shit about a few disabled people dying?!”. In the background a large, angry mob is approaching. They are carrying a banner stating that they are ‘the alliance for Covid 19 benefits claimants’.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by A6er on 10/08/2020 at 15:39

    Reblogged this on Tory Britain!.


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