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Thread: Theft on the rise in British schools

  1. #31
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    The way I see it, you set the tone. You've been setting this tone for a while now, and I'm starting to wonder if I need to start ignoring your threads the way I ignore Lewk's.

    And no, there is no sarcasm apparent. It just looks like sensationalist lying to generate more thread-views. Which is one of the reasons I ignore Lewk's threads.
    Titling a thread isn't so easy. I still haven't figured it out. Fuzzy, when was the last time you started a thread, hmm?

    Regardless, you know there's a big difference b/w threads started by Minx and Lewk; one encourages discussion and the other doesn't. It didn't take Rand long (probably because he's British) to move the debate to definitions of poverty, any correlations to crime, and the role government plays in fixing (or causing) those problems.

    I don't have a problem with any "tone" that gets us to the nitty gritty that way.

  2. #32
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    ps I just now clicked the link and read the story in the OP. But I understood the topic was about poverty, as seen from school-aged kids, by the second post (from Rand).

    And Fuzzy, you haven't started a thread in D & D since the Boston bombings several years ago. 4-15-2013
    Last edited by GGT; 04-03-2018 at 05:49 AM.

  3. #33
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    I made a mistake, I misread the 60% of median earnings as being £25,700 rather than median earnings being £25,700.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Its called working poverty, and schools acting as a safety net for such things is not sustainable. Families where the parents are working 2 or 3 jobs and end up worse off than those who end up mooching off a benefits system, but to proud to take advantage of the system. You're looking at a slippery slope toward civil unrest, no matter how much you manage to turn your nose up at them while simultaneously sticking your head up your ass. Moralizing being a poor as a fault of the parent/family does absolutely nothing towards actually fixing the problem.
    I agree that's a very real problem and we need to fix it. I truly despise the "poverty trap" that means that people end up being encouraged to stay on benefits by the State and I think its our fault for making that system and not simply the fault of those who take advantage of the system in a way that is logical to them.

    The legacy of our benefits system is a very convoluted one and it means that people are encouraged to stay on benefits too often in the past - plus the figures were constantly massaged to eg insure that people were basically at "60% of median income + £1" to massage the statistics without giving them hope of progressing beyond that. One of the things I'm happiest with this government doing is for years it has been trying to implement reforms to a system it calls Universal Credit which has merged multiple benefits together into one and then is ensuring that work always pays rather than sometimes you being better off out of work.

    One area where I'd be prepared to spend more money is being more generous on the withdrawal rate for benefits. Currently still when you combine the withdrawal of benefits with taxes then the effective real tax rate for low earners can be about 70-80% (it previously could be over 100%!) which doesn't encourage anyone to earn more and traps people on low earnings. I would merge benefits with tax altogether and have a single rate then that should be considerably lower so work always pays well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  4. #34
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    Titling a thread isn't so easy. I still haven't figured it out. Fuzzy, when was the last time you started a thread, hmm?

    Regardless, you know there's a big difference b/w threads started by Minx and Lewk; one encourages discussion and the other doesn't. It didn't take Rand long (probably because he's British) to move the debate to definitions of poverty, any correlations to crime, and the role government plays in fixing (or causing) those problems.

    I don't have a problem with any "tone" that gets us to the nitty gritty that way.
    Yeah but Steely took issue with me moving the debate rather than just being "aww how sad "
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  5. #35
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Also, having gone through my threads on the first few pages of this forum, I'm going to call bullshit on any suggestion that any more than a handful of those threads are deliberately misleading. A small number of them have less informative titles that are nevertheless easy to understand when you read the OP or the heading and subheading of whatever article they link to. If you believed I'd really started a thread trying to make you believe Facebook was announcing a decision to literally close a literal stable door, I can assure you that was not my intention, and if you don't believe me, there's nothing I can do about that.
    So you really think the liberal media are out of control?

    You start your threads being dishonest and sensationalist so expect a response tone that takes that into account.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  6. #36
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    I made a mistake, I misread the 60% of median earnings as being £25,700 rather than median earnings being £25,700.
    As a result of your mistake, which you doubled down on, you falsely claimed the poverty threshold in the UK is around 60% higher than it actually is (ignoring nuances about varying thresholds etc). And yet, finding out that you were wrong by 60% doesn't seem to have any relevance whatsoever to whatever point it was you were trying to make with your false claim. If the number doesn't matter, why bring it up at all?

    One of the things I'm happiest with this government doing is for years it has been trying to implement reforms to a system it calls Universal Credit which has merged multiple benefits together into one and then is ensuring that work always pays rather than sometimes you being better off out of work.
    Yes, that is certainly an extremely incomplete and, again, misleading account of Universal Credit.
    Last edited by Aimless; 04-03-2018 at 04:14 PM.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  7. #37
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    So you really think the liberal media are out of control?
    In the post you quoted, I specifically said "a handful". So you should compare that thread title to the other thread titles in order to get an accurate picture. That said, it should be clear from my posting history that I don't believe liberal media bias is out of control, and it should be clear from the OP that the subject of the thread is a Conservative news company.

    You start your threads being dishonest and sensationalist so expect a response tone that takes that into account.
    First of all, if what you describe as dishonesty and sensationalism were taken into account and influenced the tone of any responses, the expected response would be similar kinds of sarcasm, snark, etc, no response at all, or the automatic assumption that the titles mean the opposite of what they appear to say. In light of that it would be stupid to pretend that the threads are wrong and misleading--it's like saying someone is misleading you when they tell you they're misleading you and then immediately tell you the real story.

    But sure, I can rein in the sarcastic thread titles for the sake of fostering a better discussion climate. Regardless of how sarcastic and misleading the thread titles may be, this issue has no bearing on the inaccurate and irrelevant claim in your first post.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  8. #38
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    As a result of your mistake, which you doubled down on, you falsely claimed the poverty threshold in the UK is around 60% higher than it actually is (ignoring nuances about varying thresholds etc). And yet, finding out that you were wrong by 60% doesn't seem to have any relevance whatsoever to whatever point it was you were trying to make with your false claim. If the number doesn't matter, why bring it up at all?
    The number was to provide perspective, recycling through things now that you've pointed out my mistake seems pointless - I've made the point already but exaggerated it by mistake, better to acknowledge that and move on.
    Yes, that is certainly an extremely incomplete and, again, misleading account of Universal Credit.
    No its not.
    https://fullfact.org/economy/univers...make-work-pay/
    Overall, Universal Credit will strengthen work incentives for people claiming the benefit, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said. But certain groups, such as single parents, will see their work incentives weakened.
    ...
    While under the previous system 2.1 million people keep less than 30% of what they earn when they move into work, due to the loss of benefits and the payment of taxes, only 700,000 will do under Universal Credit.
    I think it is scandalous that under the previous system that over 2 million of our poorest people were able to keep less than 30% of what they earn when they move into work, nobody should face real tax rates of over 70%. I'm glad that for two-thirds of those people that has now been fixed thanks to Universal Credit. More still needs to be done.

    I'm against punitively high tax rates, I believe they discourage work. Do you think putting millions of our poorest citizens on an over 70% tax rate is going to help or hurt them in improving their livelihoods?
    Last edited by RandBlade; 04-03-2018 at 08:20 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  9. #39
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    I'd have no truck with taxing billionaires with 70% tax rates. Instead of the single-digit numbers they actually get.
    When the stars threw down their spears
    And watered heaven with their tears:
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made the lamb make thee?

  10. #40
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    It wouldn't work you'd have no billionaires left.

    Which is part of the problem, the billionaires are mobile enough to avoid 70% tax rates - our poorest aren't. That doesn't make it right to tax them at that real rate though!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  11. #41
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    It wouldn't work you'd have no billionaires left.
    And that's a problem exactly how?
    When the stars threw down their spears
    And watered heaven with their tears:
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made the lamb make thee?

  12. #42
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Single digits tax of billions > 70% of zero.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  13. #43
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Double-digit taxation of millions of regular people > single-digit taxation of highly concentrated wealth. Your argument is meaningless without useful data.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  14. #44
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Even if that were true if the billionaires leave then the regular people will still be there and still require their services and support etc

    However its not necessarily true:
    In America the top 1% of earners pay nearly half of all federal income tax.
    In America the bottom 80% of earners pay just 15% of all federal income tax.

    Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/13/top-...ome-taxes.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  15. #45
    This Vicious Cabaret Unheard Of's Avatar
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    Greetings, citizen! THE COMPUTER has made you a protector of the underground city of ALPHA COMPLEX. You will have lots of fun rooting out Communist mutant traitors. The Computer says so.

  16. #46
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Even if that were true if the billionaires leave then the regular people will still be there and still require their services and support etc
    For much of modern American history you had top marginal income tax rates of 60-90%. Do you imagine there were no billionaires (in today's money) in the US during that period?

    However its not necessarily true:
    In America the top 1% of earners pay nearly half of all federal income tax.
    In America the bottom 80% of earners pay just 15% of all federal income tax.
    So what? Without context those numbers are meaningless for the purposes of this discussion. Why only look at federal income tax rather than looking at all taxes? Is it because, when you look at all taxes, people are taxed roughly in proportion to their total share of income? Why disregard the fact that the top 1% earns over 20% of the income and has amassed 40% of the wealth? Or that the top 20% accounts for 90% of the wealth?

    Your position here rests on an unfounded and, frankly, kinda absurd assumption: that higher marginal tax rates would cause the total wealth & income currently held/earned by current billionaires to magically disappear. Reality is likely to be more complex, with some wealth & income disappearing and some being redistributed. Similarly, different tax incentives and labour regulations etc. would probably cause some wealth & income to disappear but also lead to less of it being diverted to and concentrated among a very small number of people who pay low tax rates.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  17. #47
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unheard Of View Post
    Both those Tweets are absurd.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  18. #48
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    The number was to provide perspective, recycling through things now that you've pointed out my mistake seems pointless - I've made the point already but exaggerated it by mistake, better to acknowledge that and move on.
    Even under the most charitable interpretation, whatever point you may have been trying to make must be substantially revised, to the point of rendering that point meaningless. I can't help but question the usefulness and relevance of any point you may have been trying to make that isn't significantly affected by the revelation that you were 60% off. An exaggeration of that magnitude should totally change whatever "perspective" you were trying to provide.

    No its not.

    https://fullfact.org/economy/univers...make-work-pay/

    I think it is scandalous that under the previous system that over 2 million of our poorest people were able to keep less than 30% of what they earn when they move into work, nobody should face real tax rates of over 70%. I'm glad that for two-thirds of those people that has now been fixed thanks to Universal Credit. More still needs to be done.

    I'm against punitively high tax rates, I believe they discourage work. Do you think putting millions of our poorest citizens on an over 70% tax rate is going to help or hurt them in improving their livelihoods?
    I'm not surprised to see you posting a poorly substantiated analysis of a govt. PR-report fantasy as fact, but I have no interest in discussing fantasies.

    The article you refer to is from 2016, when UC was being trialled on only around 220k people in a non-representative group. It makes claims about what "will" happen based on assumptions that were questionable at the time and are even more questionable today. Like your posts, there is little regard for the distinction between theory and practice. It is also misleading. While it can be argued that UC makes sure work pays, to a great extent, and for hundreds of thousands of families, it does so primarily by ensuring that benefits are much, much, much worse.

    In practice, the implementation of UC has been acknowledged as a fiasco by commentators/analysts on both sides of the political spectrum, being rolled out too quickly even though it's already five years behind schedule.

    Brief overview of UC in practice:

    https://www.ft.com/content/cb180842-...6-bb002965bce8

    OCTOBER 22, 2017 Print this page
    Theresa May faces an outcry over the rollout of universal credit. The reform of the UK’s welfare system, plagued by delays since its inception, is blamed for driving claimants into rent arrears and unmanageable debts in areas where it has been introduced. The prime minister’s instinct is to press ahead regardless with expansion. She would do better to listen to her predecessor, John Major, who has called on the Conservative party to “show its heart again” by putting the policy under review.

    The opposition to UC, which merges six existing benefits into a single monthly payment, has little to do with its underlying aims. The idea is to simplify the system and to ensure that work pays, tapering in-work benefits as earnings rise, and making it easier for people to move in and out of low-paid work without losing access to benefits.

    These are laudable goals — but there are three problems. The first is that the potential benefits of the scheme, as it was originally conceived, have since been blunted by large cuts to the welfare budget by the former chancellor George Osborne. The second is that implementation of UC has been a shambles, with delays in assessing claims compounded by administrative errors, incorrect advice on the evidence required and the absurd 55p a minute helpline. The third is that there remain flaws in the scheme’s design, in particular the six week wait before claimants receive their first payment. This supposedly mimics the world of work — encouraging financial literacy — but it is more plausible that it originated in Treasury penny-pinching.

    There is little doubt that the introduction of UC is causing unwarranted hardship. The charity Citizens Advice has found its recipients are more likely to be in arrears on rent, council tax or water bills than those on legacy benefits. Food banks have seen a sharp rise in referrals. Some private landlords do not accept tenants who rely on UC.

    David Gauke, work and pensions secretary, argues the situation is improving. Four-fifths of new claimants now receive a full payment within six weeks. A majority are receiving a loan to tide them over the waiting period and benefits staff are under orders to ensure all claimants know these advances are available. The premium rate helpline (which still has a five minute wait) will be made free. By the government’s own criteria, the scheme is operating within “acceptable parameters” and can safely be expanded.

    To outsiders, however, the decision to press on suggests a failure to appreciate the distress the system is causing. Six weeks is simply too long to expect people on low incomes to wait. Advance payments and hardship allowances help, for those who qualify, but they must be repaid. To suggest that those claimants who struggle merely need to manage their finances better — with coaching on monthly budgeting — is an insult.

    Welfare to work policies, of which UC is just the latest refinement, underpin the UK’s enviable record of low unemployment. Yet with inflation outstripping wage growth, even those who are in work are now finding it harder to make ends meet. Mrs May has made it her priority to help those who are “just about managing”. But the welfare cuts inherited from the previous government will hit them hard.

    Reversing some of these cuts to make UC more generous would be desirable. But even without additional resources, the scheme could be improved. To insist on expansion in its present form is needless and politically dangerous. If Mrs May ignores the warnings of her own MPs, as well as the evidence presented by charities and local councils, she could pay a heavy political price.
    https://www.instituteforgovernment.o...iversal-credit

    Universal Credit is essentially a good - if highly ambitious - idea that has proved vastly harder to implement than its proponents ever imagined.

    It has been hit by problem after problem since its launch by Iain Duncan Smith in the very early days of the Coalition.

    Universal Credit rolls six benefits into one in an attempt to simplify an over-complicated benefit system. The original aim was to ease the transition in and out of work and back again while ensuring, transparently, that it always paid to be in a job.

    It is an honourable ambition.

    On the original timetable, all eight million in and out of work households in the UK – most of them in work - that currently receive working tax credits, child tax credits, housing benefits, income support, means-tested versions of the jobseeker’s allowance and employment and support allowance were meant to be on the new ‘universal’ benefit by October 2017 i.e. next month.

    As of June this year, just 540,000 claimants were receiving it and the implementation timetable now stretches to 2022.

    The unintended and unfortunate consequences

    Under the old system, the goal was to pay benefits within two weeks of a claim. Under Universal Credit, there is a formal waiting period of one week with no money, with the benefit then being paid monthly in arrears – the intention being that this more closely mirrors what it is like to be in a job. In practice, many of those earning less than £10,000 a year are in fact paid weekly.

    The effect of this 'discipline' in practice has led to an in-built wait of six weeks before people get their cash - three times as long as the old system – and the Department for Work and Pensions admits that in around a fifth of cases it is failing to meet even that target, partly because of the information demands it places on the claimants.

    Waits of ten or twelve weeks are not uncommon.

    The overall effect has been to plunge people already on low incomes into rent arrears and debt and in some cases homelessness. In others cases, it has caused job losses - the very opposite of what Universal Credit is intended to achieve.

    The Commons Work and Pensions Committee has been hearing in detail evidence about these effects and bodies as diverse as Citizens Advice and the councils in areas where Universal Credit has been rolled out so far have been telling the Government about this for many, many months.

    Compounding the problems

    Despite these problems, the next big roll out of Universal Credit is set to go ahead, and what are already major problems look set to be compounded, as The Times among others have recently highlighted.

    Apart from the ideological step of making the benefits mirror a monthly salaried job – when growing numbers at the lower end of the labour market are on ‘zero hours’ contracts or other forms of the ‘gig economy' – the six week wait was incorporated, to put it crudely, to save money.

    It is just one of the many cuts to the level of support offered by Universal Credit that have been introduced since its inception, to the point where even some of its proponents fear it has become too mean to work for those it sought to help.

    Universal Credit would still be Universal Credit without the six week wait. Imposing it was a policy choice, not a necessity, and a choice that can be undone. The answer has to be a shorter wait and not just the loans that claimants can theoretically claim, but which many don’t know about which in any case just bring new problems.

    If the Government does not act before the further roll out of Universal Credit to hundreds more offices, it will cause immense hardship and bring the Universal Credit approach into further disrepute.
    Your description is incomplete because it's simply a summary of the stated goals of UC, with no mention of what we've learned about how the programme has performed in reality. Why only look at the lofty goals while disregarding the negatives?

    Such as thousands of people being in rent arrears due to the six week waiting period (later shortened to "just" 35 days): https://www.theguardian.com/society/...t-arrears-soar

    Figures obtained by the Observer under the Freedom of Information Act also show that half of all council tenants across 105 local authorities who receive the housing element of universal credit – which replaces housing benefit – are at least a month behind on their rent, with 30% two months behind.

    By contrast, less than 10% of council tenants on housing benefit are a month behind on their rent, with under 5% running more than two months behind.

    More than 30 submissions to the work and pensions select committee’s inquiry into universal credit highlight two main problems. The first is the six-week wait before claimants receive their first payment, with widespread reports of some claimants waiting even longer.

    ...

    London Councils, the body that represents the capital’s 32 boroughs and the City of London, said the new system “places both claimants and local authorities in a position of financial insecurity”. It said that in areas where universal credit had been fully implemented, there had been “a dramatic decrease in rent collection with many tenants immediately falling into rent arrears”.

    The Peabody Group, a housing association that owns and manages more than 55,000 homes in London and the south-east, said the rate of rent arrears among its tenants on universal credit was three times greater than those not on the new benefit. It said the average level of arrears for those on universal credit was £1,400 per household.

    Halton Housing Trust, which owns and manages 7,000 homes in Cheshire, said that while just 17% of its customers were receiving universal credit, they owed 47% of all its outstanding arrears. “We are also seeing an increased risk of claimants who are unable to sustain their tenancy due to increased rent arrears,” it said.

    Plymouth Community Homes, which has more than 14,000 social rented homes, said 69% of its tenants on universal credit were in arrears, compared to 29% of all tenants. Gloucester City Homes, which has more than 4,000 rented properties, said 85% of its universal credit claimants were in arrears compared to 20% of all other tenants. Islington council in London said 81% of its universal credit claimants were in arrears, compared to 29% across all of its tenants. Chesterfield borough council said 77% of its tenants in receipt of universal credit had rent arrears.

    The Trussell Trust, Britain’s biggest food bank network, said that it had come across “instances of people referred to food banks having to wait for far longer periods [than six weeks], including up to 10 and 13 weeks” for their first payment. It also reported four recent instances of people dealing with the breakdown of marriages due to financial pressure.

    The New Charter Group, which owns 20,000 homes across Greater Manchester and Nottinghamshire, said: “Evictions are likely [to] increase leading to higher level of homelessness.”

    Centrepoint, which provides housing for homeless young people, said some had waited up to 10 weeks for their first payment. “This places tenants at risk of homelessness as they can legally be served a notice to seek possession when rent is unpaid for eight weeks,” it said.
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/...iction-warning

    Thousands of benefit claimants are facing debt, rent arrears and eviction as a result of policy design flaws in universal credit, according to landlords and politicians, who are demanding an overhaul of the system.

    They have warned that UC rules that require claimants to wait at least six weeks for a first benefit payment mean many are going without basic living essentials, forcing them to turn to food banks and loan sharks.

    Ministers are being urged to slow down the national rollout and to increase support for vulnerable claimants who are struggling to cope with the demands of monthly payments and an increasingly online-only system.

    The findings have emerged during an investigation by the Guardian, which has also revealed that:

    Eight out of 10 social housing tenants moved on to UC are falling into rent arrears or increasing the level of pre-existing arrears.

    Families unable to manage the regulation 42-day wait for a first payment are regularly referred to food banks by housing associations or local MPs.

    Some claimants are waiting as long as 60 days for an initial payment because of processing delays on top of the formal wait.

    Uncertainty about the system has contributed to a dramatic decline in the number of private landlords willing to take on benefit recipients, even if they are in work.

    Organisations representing more than 1m council households said that UC claim processing problems had notably worsened over the past few months. The National Federation of Almos, which represents arm’s length organisations running council housing, and the Association of Retained Council Housing called for payment waits to be reduced.

    Chloe Fletcher, the NFA’s policy director, said: “Our members are reporting households being forced to turn to food banks, payday lenders and, alarmingly, loan sharks just to get by. This is storing up long-term financial problems for these families.”

    Parliament’s work and pensions committee will challenge one of the architects of UC, Lord Freud, on Wednesday.

    Labour MP Frank Field, who chairs the committee, warned: “Clearly, there are some basic features of its design – the initial six-week wait for a first payment, or the monthly lump sums thereafter that are paid directly to tenants, for example – that give universal credit the unintended effect of pushing some poorer households towards the twin horrors of eviction and homelessness.”

    Evidence heard by the committee included the fact that 920 (87%) of the 1,058 housing association tenants on UC in Halton, Merseyside, had rent arrears averaging more than £600.

    Nick Atkins, chief executive of Halton housing trust, said: “We support the modernisation of the benefits system and the simplification offered by universal credit. Unfortunately, universal credit in its current form is not delivering this.”

    He added that it was “placing people at increased risk of losing their home”.

    Universal credit was introduced by the former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith in 2013 as a way of ensuring claimants would be better off in work than on benefits. However, Treasury cuts to work allowances within UC have reduced the incentive for some claimants to get a job and will leave 1.2 million working families worse off.

    Although envisaged as a way of simplifying the benefits system by incorporating six benefits into one, its progress has been beset by IT failures and concerns over its operational complexity.Ministers have slowed the pace of the rollout, which is now scheduled to be completed in 2022.

    Private landlords said that without changes they would be reluctant to let to UC recipients because of the high risk of tenant arrears. Alan Ward, the chairman of the Residential Landlords Association, said: “Landlords are rapidly losing confidence in the system.”

    Meanwhile, membership surveys by the National Landlords Association reveal that the numbers willing to let properties to recipients of UC – or the local housing allowance that predates it – has fallen sharply from 46% in 2010 to 18%.

    Karen Buck, the MP for Westminster North, who is also on the work and pensions committee, said UC had major flaws that risked “locking people out of the private rented sector as landlords become more and more anxious about arrears”.

    Although 430,000 people are on UC, according to the latest official statistics, that figure will grow to 7 million when rollout is complete, and landlords and poverty campaigners are keen that ministers move early to address some of the more negative effects of UC.

    Some favour proposals being considered by the Scottish government, such as fortnightly payments and allowing claimants to have their rent paid directly to landlords.

    The lengthy wait for a first benefit payment under UC comprises an initial period of seven days, during which claimants cannot make a claim, followed by an assessment period of one month.

    Families unable to manage the 42-day wait for payment are regularly referred to food banks by housing associations or local MPs.

    The wait is often extended, however, by administrative delays. Croydon council in London, which has about 1,250 tenants on UC, says process delays can extend the overall wait to up to 60 days.

    Although the 42-day wait is based on the idea that newly unemployed claimants will have a month’s final salary to tide them over until the benefit arrives, landlords say many are accustomed to being paid weekly or fortnightly. Many have no savings.

    Sarah Seeger, the head of customer accounts at Curo Housing Association in Bath, estimated that 80% of its UC tenants did not have the financial resources to see them through a 42-day wait for benefits. The association has referred many tenants to food banks.

    A spokesperson for the DWP argued that the best way to help people pay their rent was to get them into work and that UC was doing that faster, and helping them remain in a job.

    “As the Almo report makes clear, over three-quarters of their tenants were already behind with their rent before their universal credit claim started. Our research shows that the majority of UC claimants are comfortable managing their budgets, and after four months the proportion of surveyed UC claimants who were in arrears fell by a third,” the spokesperson said.

    However, the DWP acknowledged some issues with the full rollout of universal credit. “However, by working with local authorities and landlords, we’re providing extra support to those claimants who need it and are sorting out any issues as quickly as possible.”
    https://www.economist.com/news/brita...d-common-sense

    But five weeks is a long time. The average household in the bottom wealth quintile has gross financial assets of perhaps £2,000. Many have nothing, and so nothing to live on during the waiting period. And many wait for longer than five weeks. The administrative complexity of the new system means payments are often delayed. About one in 20 people has not received payment even after ten weeks.

    The delays wreck families’ finances. Dianne, the graphic designer, claimed universal credit in February but did not receive it until May. When she told her adviser that she would be unable to cope, she was given a pamphlet on how to budget. She may sell her car, which would improve her immediate position but make it harder to get to job interviews. Analysis from the Trussell Trust, which runs a network of food banks, suggests that in areas where universal credit has been fully rolled out, referrals for emergency food have risen much faster than in areas where it has not.

    Paying universal credit monthly, meanwhile, is not good economics. About a tenth of employees are paid weekly. Those on low incomes struggle to budget over long periods. New claimants, indeed, appear to have become more likely to fall into arrears on their rent, as they run out of money before the month is over. In one Glasgow suburb, where the full service was rolled out about a year ago, a one-bedroom house is available to let—but not to universal-credit claimants. “The landlord has experienced problems with people on UC,” the estate agent apologises.
    People being forced to rely on food banks, provided they can even get to the food banks: https://www.theguardian.com/society/...l-credit-chaos

    The demand for emergency food stocks was so great in some universal credit areas that one food bank said it had to call in extra supplies from neighbouring food banks. Oldham food bank reported that it had had to limit the amount of food given out as demand was so high.
    Many working families who've been rolled over to UC--esp those with children--are still much worse off due to cuts:

    https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/9164

    https://wbg.org.uk/news/new-research...s-hardest-hit/

    https://wbg.org.uk/news/new-research...s-hardest-hit/

    http://www.cpag.org.uk/sites/default...%20website.pdf

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/...nefit-cuts-ifs

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/...ts-study-finds

    Real people:

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/...strophe-misery

    https://www.theguardian.com/public-l...s-welfare-cuts
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

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