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Lindapetherick
Lindapetherick
29 Apr 2013 12:29

Mr Duncan Smith said the new universal credit system was being implemented over four years because "I want to get these things right".

Under the new universal credit, six working-age benefits - income-based jobseeker's allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, child tax credit, working tax credit and housing benefit - will be merged into one.

He said: "We want to say to people, you're claiming unemployment benefit but you're actually in work paid for by the state: you're in work to find work. That's your job from now on: to find work."

Universal credit starts on a limited basis on today for new claimants, who are single, who live in a small number of postcode areas in Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside, Greater Manchester.

Trials in three more areas - Oldham, Wigan and Warrington - will begin in July.

From October, more claimants will move on to universal credit as and when they have a significant change of circumstances, such as starting a new job or when a child is born.

From April 2014 until October 2017, the rest of those affected in England, Scotland and Wales will be moved on to universal credit in stages. It will start in Northern Ireland from April 2014.

Brazilnut
Brazilnut
30 Apr 2013 13:04

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/04/29/iain-duncan-smith-universal-credit_n_3176903.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-politics                                                                            not easy to apply apparently

Lindapetherick
Lindapetherick
30 Apr 2013 14:13

You are absolutely right  it is not going to be easy and I am not sure how it will impact on the vulnerable people that need the benefits but view this as one more hurdle to get over.  I know that some of the people I represent would probably be put off applying for certain benefits because of it having to apply online, some because they have no computer some because they are not confident using a computer and are frightened that they will make a mistake. 

1 Agree
Brazilnut
Brazilnut
30 Apr 2013 17:10

I can sympathise with that I cant understand why everything has to be done online!!!

1 Agree
Brazilnut
Brazilnut
13 May 2013 11:37

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/12/iain-duncan-smith-fiddling-figures     and also in the news a grandmother commits suicide over £20 per week bedroom tax

FredBassett
FredBassett
13 May 2013 13:28

Applications for benifits have to be made online via computer due to them probably being administered in South Africa, India, Pakistan, Poland or anywhere else on the planet where people work for nothing. Another government Joke. Interesting choice of area up north to carry out the trials, at least they wont have to be selective on which households apply or not. Will also be a good test of how many languages the form can be downloaded in.

1 Agree
Lindapetherick
Lindapetherick
13 May 2013 13:57

Hearing about the lady that committed suicide was heartbreaking we can only hope that the Government will look at the implementation of this again and create a system that has flexibility for such cases as this.  This lady had lived in her house for 18 years it is so sad.

2 Agrees
Brazilnut
Brazilnut
13 May 2013 16:43

People are being penalised for living in their home after children have moved out, and nowhere suitable to downsize too. Not only is it sad its criminal

Lynne
Lynne
14 May 2013 07:14
1 Agree
DJ
DJ
14 May 2013 09:52

As tragic as this case was and I really do believe that anyone feeling that suicide is their only answer to a problem is truly tragic not just for them but also for all the family they leave behind, it is interesting that she a) hadn't taken up the offer of new housing that had been offered to her by the local council although she had said she was considering it, b) she hadn't asked for additional help despite a fund being set up for that exact purpose to enable the process to go ahead at a pace she could cope with, c) no-one in her family stepped in to help her raise the £20 a week she needed to enable her to live in that property a bit longer if that is what she needed.  This change was not announced one day and acted upon the next - there has been a period when people have been aware of it before it came into force.

 

Social housing and housing benefits are there to help support people who need them at their time of need.  This lady clearly needed a 3 bedroom home when her children were living there.  But after they moved out she clearly didn't need a 3 bedroom home - another family needed it.  So it still is right that the taxpayer should not be paying for people to live in larger houses than they actually need.  However, she could have continued to live there if she was prepared to pay the difference between her rent and the benefit she received towards it.  Her son said she was struggling with money before the changes came in, so it is entirely feasible that she was struggling with the bills for such a large property and would have been far better off in a smaller one - and before anyone says they aren't available, the council had found her one and it was only a few miles away from her present home.

 

I have never needed social housing or housing benefit - but I still have to choose where to live based on what I can afford.  When I got my first home with my husband we had to move 15 miles away from where we grew up and where our friends were just to be able to afford someone to buy.  We didn't expect anyone to step in and pay for us to live closer we just accepted that if we wanted to afford to live we had to move away from the area we had grown up in.  

2 Agrees
Paul
Paul
14 May 2013 09:57

@Brazilnut you couldn't be more wrong.

If you were lucky enough to be given social accommodation for your family, it is correct to expect them to move out when their children have left.

Why should a single person or a couple have a 3 bedroom house? They should move to a 1 bedroom house/flat to free up the family house for another family in need.

Your view is bewildering!

5 Agrees
Lynne
Lynne
14 May 2013 10:31

from the reports I have read about this very sad case, the local council had indeed offered her alternative accommodation but the bungalow they offered was a 30-minute walk from a bus stop and miles from her family and friends. She had a debilitating illness.

And maybe she didn't ask for help from the discretionary housing fund because a) she didn't know it existed, b) she didn't know how to or c) reasons not covered by a or b.

And might it be the case that her children couldn't help her financially because they, like she was, are struggling to make ends meet. 

And there isn't an awful lot of one bedroom social housing accommodation in existence let alone vacant for all these under-occupiers to move into.  

 

FredBassett
FredBassett
14 May 2013 11:04

Would it be fair to say that people who live in any form of social or rented accomodation need to accept the fact that the property is never going to be their own unless they buy it.  Therefore would it not be right for the people paying all or part of the rent  to have a say on how suitable the property is for an individuals needs.

Clearly one person living in a 3 bedroom property not owned by them should not be paid for by the welfare state.

Its seems to be the case with a lot, but not all benifit relient families that they become complacent and expect benifit to be paid under any circumstances and in some instances for a life time without expecting anything to change.

As mentioned before on other topics how would a lot of these people live if they where in a country without state aid

2 Agrees
DJ
DJ
14 May 2013 11:14

@Lynne when i was growing up we had 3 generations living in the same house - no-one had pots of money and my grandmother who lived with us didn't qualify for a full pension and hadn't got the means to support herself, so she lived with us.  family looks after family and that is the best support system there is you see it in society and communities around the world where there is no welfare state to step in.  as fredbassett says, people expect these days that the state will provide and they don't look beyond that and so the responsibilty for looking after your own family is ignored by so many people.  i was brought up to believe you live within your means and you look after your own and if more people would help each other within their family and community instead of expecting the state to do everything for them then the world would be a better place.

 

If her family were struggling financially too (and we don't actually know that they were) why not get a bigger property by pooling all the benefits together, then they could have all lived in together just like we did then no-one had to live at a distance away and her debilitating illness wouldn't have been a problem as she would have had people in the household to keep an eye on her.

3 Agrees
Paul
Paul
14 May 2013 11:15

Yeah good point @FredBassett.

Anyone moaning about the handout they are receiving from the rest of us, should move to Africa.

Lynne
Lynne
14 May 2013 11:26

From the newspaper reports it seems it wasn't a case that she wasn't prepared to move (apparently she had already started to box things up in readiness for a suitable offer) rather that what the council had previously offered her wasn't suitable.

And as I've (and others have said before) it is all very well expecting people to downsize but in order for them to do so there has to be......... guess what? Yes, that's right - smaller properties and not only does there have to be those smaller properties but those properties have to be........... vacant.

And how would such people live if we didn't have a welfare system? On the streets? In the woods like the travellers up at Haldon? Perhaps they'd scavenge or starve? Workhouse perhaps? What do you think Fred? Would be interested to know how you think this country should address the issues associated with the poor and dispossessed.  

1 Agree
DJ
DJ
14 May 2013 11:44

I've answered the question Lynne on where "such people" as you call them would live.  They could do what millions of people worldwide do and find a solution that works for them within the budget they have.  Options are things like moving in with family, multiple generations pooling resources to live in a bigger property that will house them all (and that also solves the problem of not enough small properties) or even house sharing with friends which plenty of people do in towns and cities where they can't afford a place of their own.  The problem isn't that we have a welfare system, I think it is great that we have a welfare system to help people in a time of great need, the problem is that the welfare system cannot cope with the demands made upon it.  And I'm sorry, but if you are expecting the state to house you at no financial cost to yourself then I do believe that you should make do with the accommodation that is being offered and if you don't like it then you have to find yourself another solution to the problem.  Otherwise it is like saying that the jobseekers allowance someone gets should be bigger because that person wants to do their food shop at Waitrose and take taxis around and so they can't do that on the allowance offered.

 

The state wasn't proposing to withdraw all support from this lady, the state was simply pointing out that she was under occupying the house the state was paying for so they would no longer pay all the costs of her living there.  It really isn't that unreasonable.  

3 Agrees
Taverner
Taverner
14 May 2013 17:58

Before Housing Benefit people regularly shared houses and flats until they could afford their own. When they had their own they often took in lodgers. I agree with the above poster, if you are in state subsidised accommadation it is not your home. It is just somewhere you live, you need only the bedrooms that you are going to use, but not for guests.

2 Agrees
Brazilnut
Brazilnut
14 May 2013 18:59

You all need to read a lot more of what this is all about, its nothing to do with HB , some social tenants are downsizing into private lets and they then qualify for full HB at a price as the rent is higher than what their social house was. The main profiteers from taxpayers money is investors in buy to let property,( several MPs and Gov Ministers own such properties) with no rent assesors around anymore they can charge what they want and if the tenants are on low income the tax payer as you all put it picks up the tab.                                                                                        In the 60s I lived with my in laws in very overcrowded conditions until I was eligible for my Council House, my husband was a builders labourer and I stayed home and looked after our young son and kept house (as we did then) we stood no chance for a mortgage on his earnings or the instability of his employment. When we signed our tenancy agreement we were told if we abided by the rules, kept out of arrears it was ours for life. 7years and 3 children later I was left on my own, I took part time work and claimed RENT REBATE which helped, when my youngest started school I worked full time relying on friends and babysitters for help, I then claimed FIS plus I was eligible for a small amount of help with rent, for a few years. Along came dear old Maggie buy your council house she said with a discount, I must admit although I was against it I enquired but was told with the sort of work and income I had no chance. I know a few people who did and lost their houses because of recession and had to start renting again. If those houses hadnt been sold there would still be 2million houses in the Social Housing sector. A lot of those have been sold on to private investors who are now renting them to people on low incomes with HB picking up the tab, there is 3 at the back of me ex local authority owned by the same person and the rent is double what I pay. I have never been in the position of being able to get a mortgage and there are 1000s like me, a lot of people are on minimum wage and need hb to help. This bedroom tax labels everybody as having spare rooms, most have somebody in them, and the majority of people who are affected are the disabled and chronically sick, very few are unemployed the stats show that not the lies (which has been proved)that IDS and is dept put out.  I cannot believe the uncaring attitude of all of you. Final Rant over I will not be replying to this as you cant educate some people

4 Agrees
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