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Problems of the Universal Credit that need to be addressed

13 April, 2017

• THANK you for publishing my letter about the devastation that the new “omnibus benefit” Universal Credit’s application processes bring to economically vulnerable people’s lives (Long wait for benefits, March 30).

Perhaps one of the most fundamental problems about Universal Credit is its implicit assumption that those who cannot apply for it online should be penalised.

Another major problem with it is its means-testing in combination with ever-diminishing “overall benefit caps” that are extremely stigmatising. (A non-means-tested Universal Basic Income would be much simpler).

Universal Credit was supposedly brought in to “simplify” the benefits system, which it does not do. Neither do most of the other changes to the benefits system that have arisen over the past two decades or so while cuts in public spending have axed many of the formerly tax-funded information, advice and guidance services to help people claim what is rightfully theirs.

This adds to the alienation benefit claimants experience and increases the reason for being of Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group’s weekly meetings at Kingsgate Community Centre, NW6 2JH and our demonstrations that help Jobcentre users through the hoops and hurdles and narrowing goalposts that constitute the current benefit system.

Croftdown Road, NW5


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