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Next DWP scam coming: lose your job, wait 5 weeks before any benefit paid

jcp-signIt is being kept under close wraps by this Tory government that under Universal Credit people who lose their jobs will be made to wait 5 weeks before they get any benefit payment.    Very few people realise this – a poll found this latest ‘welfare reform’ deeply unpopular, with almost 4 to 1 opposed.   That may explain why the government is trying to keep their plans secret before the election, since only 1 in 8 says they’ve heard anything about it.   But the impact will be really devastating on families.   Anyone losing their job will get no help to cover rent, mortgage, food or fuel bills.   the 5-week wait will apply to anyone making a new claim, however long they have held their job or however much national insurance they have paid in during their working life.   The plans are hidden in the small print of the rules for the new Universal Credit system which Ian Duncan Smith (IDS) likes to parade as the government’s flagship benefit reform.   The programme has already been dogged by repeated delays and wasted at least £130m through disastrous IT contracts.   The 5-week wait will hit millions of people.   Since the economic crash in 2008-9, there have been 22 million new claimants for jobseeker’s allowance (JSA).   In future everyone in this situation will have to wait 5 weeks for their first payment.

Currently new claimants wait just over 2 weeks for their first payment, but DWP plans now mean people will not be eligible for any benefits for the first week of unemployment and in total will have to wait at least 5 weeks before they get any money.   The vast majority won’t even get limited emergency advanced payments.   Benefit delays are one of the top 3 reasons people give for going to food banks.   Even the government admits that the 5-week wait will force more people to go into debt.   The only ones to gain will be the rip-off payday lenders like Wonga who must be licking their lips because theirs will be the only loans that many unemployed people will be able to get.

The wider significance of this latest DWP nasty move is that it cuts another big hole in the welfare security net to which we all contribute in case we need help when through no fault of our own we lose a job or become ill.   The national insurance system is being eaten away.   Instead cuts are being made in the value of child benefit,cuts in help for low-paid workers, brutal sanctions for claimants often without explanation when they have done nothing wrong, the bedroom tax, and even cruel delays in giving help to workers diagnosed with terminal cancer.   The TUC is leading the campaign to Stop the Five Week Wait, and this should play a lead role in campaigning before the election.

One Comment

  1. Robert says:

    Ok we all know what you would say but what about the new Empathy leader who hires an American to tell him about Empathy dear god what a leader we have.

    What does Miliband and his leadership think or as we call them Progress.

    No good voting labour if labour agree with the Tories.

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