by Iain Donaldson on 19 October, 2017
The original idea of Universal Credit was to create a system in which all benefits could be applied for in one application, quickly calculated, and paid out in a timely fashion to ensure that the claimant did not face months of hardship and cross assessment. There is nothing wrong with that principle, but when it is implemented by a Government that has its mind on other matters you end up with chaos.
What was definitely not acceptable was the 55p a minute charge for calling the Universal Credit helpline (By comparison the benefit fraud reporting line has always been a freephone number). Although the Tories have now cancelled the charge, one has to ask what kind of heartless idiot thought it’d be a good idea to have the HELPline charged at a premium rate to start with… and what kind of heartless git actually approved it?
On Universal Credit the problem is not the principle but the botched implementation.
Despite the total lack of progress in its negotiations with the EU, this Tory Government is so deeply focussed on Brexit that it is totally neglecting domestic policy as it puts Brexit before Britain.