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28 November 2018

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"Punitive, mean-spirited and callous" UN investigator

Scrap the Tories' Universal Credit now!

Cut tax scroungers, not benefits, photo Socialist Party Wales

Cut tax scroungers, not benefits, photo Socialist Party Wales   (Click to enlarge)

Alistair Tice, Socialist Party national committee

New Tory Department for Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, of Windrush-scandal notoriety, hailed Universal Credit (UC) as a "tremendous force for good". It's been so good that in her constituency, food bank use went up by 87% in Hastings in the year following UC roll-out.

UC is the Tory-designed all-in-one means-tested benefit that combines administrative chaos and a minimum five-week wait for payment, along with 12 billion of benefit cuts.

Another Tory DWP minister has suggested that families struggling with the benefit cap should take in a lodger. Take in a lodger? Some of these are families with three children in one bedroom, how are they going to take in a lodger?

And there won't be any festive cheer for 110,000 children this Christmas because new UC claims made after 20 November will not be paid until the New Year. The Trussell Trust foodbank charity expects to provide a record 1.5 million meals to struggling families over Christmas.

UN report

No wonder then that even the United Nations 'special rapporteur' on extreme poverty and human rights branded Tory welfare cuts as "punitive, mean-spirited and often callous".

He said UC treated "claimants like guinea pigs". 400,000 claims for UC have been rejected or stopped in the past year, with one in three people applying having their claim knocked back.

Even the Tory government has admitted that half of all single parents and two-thirds of working age couples with children are set to lose an average of 2,400 a year. Altogether, it is estimated that 3.2 million working families could lose on average 48 a week compared with the old system.

That's why the Unite Community union has called a national day of action against Universal Credit on Saturday 1 December with protests in towns and cities around the country.

But if we are really going to turn UC into the another 'poll-tax' for the Tories, then this must be the start of a coordinated campaign reaching out from the trade unions to job centres, claimants, and housing estates.

Under pressure, the Tories have had to make some concessions and delay the full roll-out (for existing claimants), but we should demand the complete scrapping of Universal Credit and its replacement not with the old benefits system, but welfare which guarantees everyone a decent standard of living.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 28 November 2018:


What we think

End Tory misery - general election now!

For a socialist alternative to the EU - mobilise to kick out the Tories!


International socialist news and analysis

Eyewitness: French protesters seize streets against President Macron

San Francisco Bay Area's toxic smoke crisis and capitalism's mismanagement

Workers at the forefront of the new wave of protests in Iran


News

Haringey 'Corbyn council': end the secrecy and confusion - lead a fight against the cuts

The Tories' letting fee ban is full of holes - we need rent controls and council homes!


Workplace

PCS Left Unity election: All votes should count

Cammell Laird shipbuilding workers strike against job cuts on merseyside

College lecturers in Wales strike against low pay and workload

Black Friday day of action against Amazon


Environment

We need system change to halt climate change


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Islwyn Labour Party calls for council no-cuts budget

Scrap the Tories' Universal Credit now!

Reclaim the Night marches condemn violence against women

King George A&E faces closure again

Southampton: Join the pledge to resist cuts

"Horrendous" - Bristol's privatised buses

Nat West's benefit-claimant eviction policy


Opinion

Wonderful socialist play finds Edwardian poverty not in past

End "poverty, ill health and despair":a benefits adviser speaks out against the cuts

Trump is capricious and dangerous - but is he really in charge?


 

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Related links:

Universal Credit:

triangleMake the super-rich pay, not the poorest

triangleNo surprise, poverty is rising

triangleWhat will the spending review mean for me?

triangleDon't let Tories starve our kids

triangleTV: Council House Britain

Tories:

triangleHartlepool sums up Labour crisis

triangleCladding: Tories refuse to protect leaseholders again

triangleProtesting works - Unite to defend the right to protest

triangleLiverpool hustings - only TUSC has a strategy to take on the Tories

Claimants:

triangleFilm: 'Sick' - 'They've got people looking in the wrong direction'

trianglePCS: No to DWP management's plans - Yes to action

triangleJobcentre reopening: only union struggle will put safety first

Children:

trianglePolice attempt to intimidate Newcastle protesters

triangleCovid, capitalism and mental health

Hastings:

triangleHastings Socialist Party: The socialist alternative to cuts and crisis

Article dated 28 November 2018

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