A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) minister appears to have lied about one of the most controversial benefit cuts of recent years. Either that or he’s got his facts completely wrong. Because while he claimed the cut made “no savings”, that’s not what the government said when it rolled it out. And now, following the original publication of this article, the DWP has amended the minister’s comments to say that information about the savings is “not available”.
The DWP: remember this cut?
Source: The DWP either just lied or is clueless about a cut to disability benefits | The Canary
11 January 2019
Lord Justice Singh and Mr Justice Lewis today ruled that the DWP has been wrongly interpreting the universal credit regulations. They said in their judgment that treating claimants as having earned twice as much as they do if they happen to receive two pay cheques in one monthly assessment period, and as having no earnings in the next assessment period is “odd in the extreme” and “…. could be said to lead to nonsensical situations”.
They added that the DWP’s incorrect interpretation of the regulations had caused “…severe cash flow problems for the claimants living as they do on low incomes with little or no savings”.
The judicial review case, brought by solicitors Leigh Day and Child Poverty Action Group on behalf of four lone mothers, challenged the rigid, automated assessment system in universal credit which meant the mothers lost several hundreds of pounds each year and were subject to large variations in their universal credit awards because of the dates on which their paydays and universal credit ‘assessment periods’ happened to fall.
The mothers all had monthly paydays that ‘clashed’ with the dates of their monthly universal credit assessment periods, with the result that if they were paid early some months, because their payday fell on a weekend or bank holiday for example, they were treated as receiving two monthly wages in one assessment period – which in turn dramatically reduced their UC award – and as receiving no wages at all the next month. This is a problem which has affected many working claimants and has been widely reported in the media.
In addition to creating wildly fluctuating universal credit awards, when the mothers received two pay cheques in one assessment period, they lost the benefit of one month’s work allowance. The work allowance is the amount of earnings claimants with children or with limited capability for work can keep in full before universal credit is tapered away at a rate of 63p per pound, worth hundreds of pounds each year.
This flaw in the system has denied working parents the additional financial support that they are entitled to so as to help them in work and ensure that work always pays. The severe fluctuations in their universal credit awards and therefore their total monthly income has also caused major cash flow difficulties for parents on very low incomes, leading to them falling into debt and, for some, having to choose between paying their rent or paying their childcare costs.
Source: High Court finds DWP unlawful on universal credit assessments|LeighDay.co.uk | sdbast
This is all correct, but this is why charities exist, for no matter what the state provides, there will always be a need to provide more. The State is central based, while many of these charities are locally based. Or in some respects they are more to the ground than Central Government and in many instances local public bodies.
The major difference now, due to austerity, is that the need for charities is even more so as austerity is greatly increasing poverty and destitution to an even greater number of families and to families further up the scale of wealth. This means that families who previously would not need this help are now requiring it.
Not only should austerity cease immediately, but there is urgent need for funding taken away to be brought back also immediately.
Without any delay the massive cuts to local authority budgets and in some respects health need to be guided to social care in all areas and in deprived areas.health.
Otherwise in the near future, if not the immediate, social care will cease to exist and health will only be available to those who can afford it.
With regards to the comments apparently mentioned by the Department of Work and Pensions beggars the comment ‘which planet are they on’ for all I hear is the rollout of and the benefit itself is an abject failure’.
So which reality are the Department of Work and Pensions in?
An 8-year-old Manurewa boy is one of 11,000 disabled children to lose a welfare benefit, even though his asthma is so bad that he missed one in every four school days last year.More than 11,000 disabled…
Source: 11,000 disabled children lose welfare benefit – National – NZ Herald News