Universal credit - Child element details

(150 Posts)
Orwellian Mon 18-Jun-12 17:37:45

I just had a look at this; ssac.independent.gov.uk/pdf/uc-draft-regs-2012-memorandum.pdf

If you scroll down to page 9, point 45 it says;

"The child element comprises of two rates; one rate for the first/only child and then a reduced rate for second and subsequent children.".

So it looks like what is currently child tax credits will no longer be paid at the same rate for each child and will instead (within universal credit) be paid in the same way that child benefit is now paid. I wonder what the rate will actually be for first children and then for subsequent children?

Ryoko Mon 18-Jun-12 17:38:51

Two lumps of coal a month for the first, one lump for each additional child thats not in the workhouse.

gaully Mon 18-Jun-12 19:33:42

I can't see a Family Element like they have now for Child Tax Credits. It's worth about £500 but you only get it once no matter how many children you have. Currently the first child receives more than subsequent children - so it could be that nothing is changing.

2old2beamum Mon 18-Jun-12 21:34:34

If that is the case the government had better have one of our severely disabled adopted children back into care (shh my loveys not really) who were costing this country thousands in residential care. We DID NOT do it for financial care we felt these children deserved a forever family but we cannot do it on air.

Fourthdimensionallizard Mon 18-Jun-12 21:40:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lougle Mon 18-Jun-12 22:24:48

Get this:

"If [one part of a claimant couple] is under 18 or treated as not resident in Great Britain then that ‘ineligible adult’ is to be ignored for the purposes of calculating the Universal Credit Maximum Amount - although their capital, income and earnings shall still be taken into account"

In other words, they will ignore the fact that there are two mouths to feed, but reduce the one-adult entitlement by the amount of the other person's income.


It's a surprisingly clear document, barring the lack of payment figures (only cap figures) and pg. 42 where it uses the term "week of confinement" I presume to mean the week of the estimated due date.

Lougle Mon 18-Jun-12 22:35:30

Yes, frighteningly clear sad

littlemisssarcastic Fri 22-Jun-12 23:44:05

I have briefly perused this document.

Can anyone explain in simpler terms what point 91 means when it says:

There is to be a time limit of 2 years when it comes to payment of housing costs within the full conditionality group. After 2 years, the payments will stop and will not be reinstated until claimant has had a break in claim and has served a further waiting period.

Who are people with full conditionality? I am a single parent with DD, almost 4, and I cannot find a job atm.

My friend is very concerned too. She is working age, claims full HB and council tax benefit at the moment, but does not work and is supported by family. (Chooses not to claim JSA through her principles)

What will happen to the people who cannot find a job within 2 years??? I'm getting very concerned now. Where are all of these jobs going to come from??

Lougle Sat 23-Jun-12 07:54:47

Full conditionality is explained on page 41 of the document.

Your friend would be in the FC group.

Page 44 of the document suggests that you would be in the full conditionality group, but you could limit your availability to school hours minus travel time.

FrothyOM Sat 23-Jun-12 08:28:48

They are going to stop paying housing costs?! shock

CouthyMow Sat 23-Jun-12 08:59:04

WHAT THE FUCK?! If you work PT, like I will have to due to disability that they don't recognise as a disability anymore despite me having uncontrolled epilepsy then you are still reliant on housing costs being paid. I would earn less than my rent and utilities in a Social Housing property.

My HA house costs £720pcm. On 24 hrs a week (the absolute most I will manage despite having 'full conditionality' because I don't meet the criteria for DLA anymore, due to my epilepsy), I will earn only £1,087.84 before tax. Once I have paid rent, council tax, electric, water and gas, I will have spent more than my earnings?!

And about the thing for ignoring under 18's in a relationship - how will it work, say, for a 17yo Lone Parent? Up till now, it has been the case that they can claim AS an over 18 if they have sole responsibility for a DC. Does this mean that is changing too?

Lougle Sat 23-Jun-12 13:43:47

Lone parents under 18 will be counted, so no change there.

Also worth checking the childcare cost bit. Haven't had time to do the maths yet, but am suspicious that they are giving Ann amount per month, not per week as is currently. I wonder if the new figure is actually lower.

littlemisssarcastic Sat 23-Jun-12 20:35:29

Lougle If I were to limit my availability to school hours minus travel time, what would happen if after 2 years, I have not found employment?

It clearly says in point 91 that the housing part of the universal credit will be stopped after 2 years for people who are in the full conditionality group.

Am I misreading/misunderstanding this?

Also, how long is the break they talk about for? How long is the further waiting period for? (Basically, how long would I have to fund my own rent out of nothing/how much rent arrears would I accrue/Would it be serious enough to cause me to be evicted for non payment of rent?)

littlemisssarcastic Sat 23-Jun-12 20:43:12

Limit on Payment of Housing Costs
91. There is to be a time-limit of two years on payment of housing costs to claimants in the full conditionality group of Universal Credit. When such a claimant has received help with housing costs for a period of two years these payments will stop and will not be reinstated until a claimant has had a break in claim and has served a further waiting period. This is underpinned by the principle of providing short-term help through the benefits system and because it is not considered appropriate that this help is provided indefinitely. This is intended to focus the help that is given through the benefits system on those on low income when they need it most.

I MUST be reading this out of context, although I have looked and looked and it appears this is exactly what the govt are planning for us. WTAF??? shock

Lougle Sat 23-Jun-12 21:21:09

Umm...I think you are reading it correctly, LMS sad

LornMowa Sun 24-Jun-12 20:40:50

I think there's a difference between Housing Costs which provide help with mortgage interest and Housing Benefit which helps with the cost of rent.

Housing Costs are currently only paid 13 weeks into a claim and I think end after 2 years.

littlemisssarcastic Sun 24-Jun-12 20:43:24

So does this mean that the 2 year limit will only affect homeowners? confused

People who rent are safe?

littlemisssarcastic Sun 24-Jun-12 20:45:07

Housing benefit is being replaced by universal credit, as is mortgage interest payments, so I maybe wrongly assumed all the housing costs referred to any of those payments. confused

tripletipple Mon 25-Jun-12 23:05:23

From reading the document on DWP website it would appear that "housing costs" does include rented properties
www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/uc-drafts-regs-2012.pdf (Part 4, chapter2)

CouthyMow Tue 26-Jun-12 07:17:55

So what would this mean for someone whose partner leaves them with a tiny baby? Does this mean that they HAVE to go back to work with a toddler, paying Nursery costs?

And what if you are on a low income but working? This means that someone on NMW won't get the equivalent of HB after 2 years?!

How in the name of fuckery do they expect someone with 2/3 DC to pay housing costs out of a maximum of £11,650 BEFORE tax and still pay all their bills and feed their DC?

This is going back to the worst of Margaret Thatcher and then some.

I can see that there will be cases where whole families will be homeless. My family will be one of them.

Xenia Tue 26-Jun-12 07:45:31

CM, I went back to work when all the babies were 2 sweeks old. People can. They have just got lazy and reliant on benefits. 2 yeras of housing benefit is a huge thing to be given my hard working squeezed middle tax payers.

I think this will have huge support. Iain DS is doing a very good job.

What we want is the more people work the better off they are. Also most people are out of work for about a year and they need the welfare state to get them back on their feet and then they plough on. That is life for most people. Many of us have moved very far to find work as well. No reason why the less well off should not do that too.

Xenia Tue 26-Jun-12 07:48:11

Also making payments for second children lower is exactly what child benefit has done for decades so no surprise there. Obviousyl the hard worknig squeezed middle often do not have more than 2 children as they cannot afford them. Those who live off their backs are not so constrained but perhaps now they might be.

CouthyMow Tue 26-Jun-12 12:24:52

I'm not TALKING about HB for the unemployed (and for the record, I went back to work just 5 weeks after my DS2 was born, am only out of work due to I'll health at present), I'm talking about HB for those employed on NMW who work FT for just £11,650 before tax.

In the SE, on NMW, you can't even cover the rent on a 1-bed flat without help from HB. If no-one on NMW can get help with the rent when they work, and 80% of HB claimants are EMPLOYED, then they will all have to move Northwards.

Who does that leave to clean your house, clean your streets, clean your hospitals, cook the food in hospitals, push your hospital bed to the operating theatre, take away your bin bags, cut your hair, serve you in any shops, care for your elderly relatives...

Be very careful what you wish for, it might just come true...

This government is engaged in a massive role back of the welfare state and yes people are going to suffer because of these changes. It's not a good time to lose your job, have a disability, be abandoned by a partner or indeed be anything other than Mr and Mrs Middle Class Tory.

Its on trial in our area before anywhere else, no suprise they have targeted the North West first sad

Am currently self employed, it says I am going to have to declare income monthly and attend an initial interview and then quarterly interviews to prove I still qualify.

TBH I would be better off on dole...

FrothyOM Tue 26-Jun-12 15:24:37

I feel for the north-west. sad When does the trial start?

April for both new and existing claimants in certain areas. Wish they would release a calculator so I could work out best thing to do.

Lougle Tue 26-Jun-12 15:56:32

" Those who live off their backs are not so constrained but perhaps now they might be."

Xenia, that is a disgusting thing to say.

littlemisssarcastic Tue 26-Jun-12 23:39:29

tripletipple I can't get that link to work.

This is madness. It's well known that there are not enough jobs for every single unemployed person to have one.

If this rule also affects workers claiming HB on NMW, this is going to be disastrous!!! shock

It is too much for me to digest tbh. I can't even contemplate what kind of govt would cause hundreds of thousands of families to be evicted, even when they are working full time, simply because they do not earn enough to pay the rent. sad angry

Ludoole Wed 27-Jun-12 01:37:26

The more i hear the sicker i feel....
Im a single mother to 2 boys (not by choice) working 16 hours as my dads pa (he has alzheimers).

I work a damn sight more hours than that though as im there 6/7 days a week, during school hours and often afterwards. (Its awful to get paid to look after your own parents btw...)

Im pushing my children to achieve academically so they hopefully will avoid benefits of any description, but this universal credit makes me feel like im not doing enough. I dont know how much more i can give. Im already nearing breaking point.

What does this government want?!?!?!
Im doing my best, but nothing will ever be good enough for them!!!!

Pickgo Wed 27-Jun-12 01:51:27

Xenia I went back to work when all the babies were 2 sweeks old. People can. They have just got lazy and reliant on benefits

That is quite a ridiculous suggestion. Many people are not fit for work 2 weeks after giving birth. And most people would not advise it and regard it as seriously neglectful of your newly born child's needs. What a stupid thing to write.

Also, if there was full employment I would have some respect for your argument. BUT there are 2.6 MILLION people unemployed. There are few jobs available - about 50,000 net gain in Q1. This fact is ALWAYS ignored by people like you. You are thick and bigoted. Shut the fuck up until you have something intelligent to contribute.

Xenia Wed 27-Jun-12 06:25:53

Luckily I live in a country with freedom of speech. Not everyone is fit to work at 2 weeks but plenty of the full time working squeezed middle who rely on no benefits do work very hard without any state help and the country has got a bit fed up and simply cannot afford to pay in benefits what is has been paying.

IDS' new system when in force will be a force for good. He is a good man with good plans.

Lougle Wed 27-Jun-12 07:06:00

Xenia, rights come with responsibilities. You may live in a country with freedom of speech but that also means that people have the freedom of response.

You are deeply privileged. You may take the view that your position in life is of your own making, but the fact is that your circumstances allowed you to rise to your position.

I have always admired your industrious drive which is evident from your posts. I have admired your success. However, your posts lack the humility which makes great people truly great. That humility, which recognises that were circumstances different, life also would be very different, is what both you and the leadership of this country lacks, at the detriment of both our current and future generations.

When financial segregation takes place, when people who cannot aspire to professional careers are forced to move Northwards, will you deem it a success that people who would previously have taken professional jobs are doing low paid jobs? Those jobs will still need doing, you know. Rich or poor, if you are old and incontinent, you will need someone to administer intimate care. Rich or poor, if you want to eat in a restaurant, someone will need to wash the plates.

If the ideology of the Leadership is that benefit claimants are somehow illegitimate, then they need to increase the NMW to lift full time workers out of the benefits system.

Tanith Wed 27-Jun-12 09:15:29

You forgot to include childcare workers, most of whom are low paid. Hard to work when you have no childcare because they can't afford to keep going.

Xenia Wed 27-Jun-12 17:58:51

Absolutely. I am more than happy with response, bring it on. It's fun. If I wanted to be into some kind of yes men club aren't we all lovely I'd mix only with free market libertarians. Plenty of people in the UK only associate with other Guardian readers or golf club members or stay at home mothers or whatever their own grouping so they can each pat the other on the back and always support their views. That is very dull. I can instead convert everyone to my views and thus I improve the planet - doing God's work if I use the words of one of our better bankers.

I have never said I had no advantages. One is that I am never ill (although mind you I don't eat junk food, don't drink, don't smoke etc not fat and do a raft of things which mean I am healthy). Another is I was born reasonably good looking, certainly not in Samantha Brick levels... laughing... but I don't look too bad and that alone helps people get on at work. My IQ is reasonably high too which again is an advantage which is fairly random except both my parents were clever and married each other so I suppose in a sense that was cause and effect.

The difference between left and right is not that one cares and the other doesn't despite the left thinking they have some monopoly of caring. It is that the right has the better way to achieve that.

I do not castigate people for claiming benefits if they are entitled to nor claim pension tax relief (arguably being morally "repugnant" but lawful tax avoidance) if they are entitled. People can only work within the system where they are. If the system is not working we change it. The 59% who want benefits tights so the squeezed middle suffer less they are probably right - I am in a massive majority on this issue. Markets decide. If there is not enough work here people go where there is work. My suggestion if young people cannot stand living with a parent they move somewhere with work si not at odds with the new under 25s policy at all. If your parents are awful or you aren't prepared to camp on their kitchen floor or sleep in the bath then go where there is work even if that's abroad or find a job which is live in.

breadandbutterfly Wed 27-Jun-12 18:11:05

Xenia, you're probably not familiar with the concept that the mark of a civilised society is how we treat those at the bottom of the pile.

As an article in the Guardian put it yesterday, this is worse than the Victorians. At least they distinguished between the desrving and undeserving poor. This treats all poor as automatically undeserving. Just for the crime of being poor.

It is ridiculous that someone could work full time yet still not have enough to pay the rent. This is a failure of the free market; or rather, the markets are not free at all. If markets were truly free, house prices would have fallen by loads. As it is, they have been propped up by historically low rates, QE, etc etc etc. When we have a situation where big, hugely successful companies are gifted hundreds of thousands of free workers, with wages paid by the taxpayers, under the guise of workfare - this is not free markets working well, this is the worst kind of corporate bailout - like the banks privaitising the profits in the good times but socialising the losses when they'd fucked up royally.

Free market my arse.

tripletipple Wed 27-Jun-12 20:13:42

Sorry littlemiss hopeless at links.
Google "universal credit" then click on the dwp page that appears at the top of the list. Follow the links to draft regulations published on 15th June 2012. You will have to click through 3 times to see the full document. Part 4, chpt 2 covers House Costs Element.

littlemisssarcastic Wed 27-Jun-12 21:39:11

Thanks tripletipple.

I found it. I also remembered that in the document OP showed us in the OP, the decision to stop housing costs after 2 years was limited to those people who would be under the full conditionality rules.

I don't think anyone working full time, even for NMW, would be under full conditionality rules. My understanding is that it will affect people who are unemployed??

Does anyone know what groups of people will be under 'full conditionality' under the universal credit?

Pickgo Wed 27-Jun-12 23:34:35

What you also forget Xenia is that of the 2.6 million people unemployed there are many who have paid taxes for decades. They have been the 'squeezed middle'. They have paid taxes so that when they lose their jobs they will be supported until they get another one. That could be a long time with unemployment rates so high.

The Universal Credit sytem will stop supporting those of the EIGHT million people who work part-time are are low income as a result. Easy, they get full-time jobs you say..... but 2.6 million are already unemployed and the rest of the 8 million will be after those full-time jobs too. Failure is built in. This is the wrong time to attempt this change.

My other real worry is that if your children are 13 or older you will be expected to work full-time. But many, if not most, children of 13 are not responsible to be left for the 13 weeks school holidays, times when they are ill and the couple of hours either side of the school day when their parents are at work. It will result in many social problems and unhappy kids.

Austerity is a problem caused by the economic system that benefits the rich minority. It is the poor majority who will suffer the results. What's New?

YoYoYoItsTillyMinto Thu 28-Jun-12 07:44:28

Most 13 year olds not responsible to be left on their own in the school hoidays? Really? Sounds like learned helplessness (obviously excluding SN).

I don't know anyone who works who pays for childcare for a 13 yo, because they cannot afford it and don't think its required.

we have to change this way of thinking that I Cannot Be Expected To Do... And Someone Else Needs To Pick Up The Cost.

People are capable. How did we get her?

YoYoYoItsTillyMinto Thu 28-Jun-12 07:45:08

Her= here

littlemisssarcastic Thu 28-Jun-12 09:59:41

When DS was 13, I was working long hours, 3 days a week.
I didn't finish work until 10pm, and usually got home by 11pm.

My mother sat in my house and was there to supervise DS when he got home from school.

It depends on the child, but imo, very few children aged 13 are happy to be left completely alone (no siblings/neighbours/friends with them) until 11pm with no one in close proximity to call on.

The world becomes a different place when night closes in, and there are a good many adults on here that are afraid to be left alone late at night. The slightest creak/noise can appear much more frightening in darkness, as opposed to daytime.

FWIW, I would have no problem whatsoever with leaving a 13 year old to fend for themselves if I was working 8am until 5pm, but for less sociable hours, maybe not. Like I said, it depends on the individual. Unfortunately, many people are going to have to take jobs with unsociable hours as the pressure to find employment (any employment) increases.

Orwellian Thu 28-Jun-12 15:35:34

Perhaps if so many people can no longer pay their rent, then landlords will be forced to lower their rent or have an unoccupied property rather than having it subsidised through housing benefit?

littlemisssarcastic Thu 28-Jun-12 18:47:20

That may be possible if the tenant could afford reduced payments, but in the case of the people on FC, I'm not sure many of those could afford to pay any rent if their housing costs were cut to nothing.

Take for example an unemployed couple with 2 small children, if their rent is not paid via housing benefit, how much would they be able to afford to offer as a reduced rent??

Good idea, but only if housing benefit are only paying a small percentage of their rent in the first place??

cahu Thu 28-Jun-12 19:42:43

Sorry to barge in, been lurking as i have been worried about the changes. I work 25 hours a week with 2 school age children.....posted a message in money i think, a couple of weeks ago but i just had to say that Xenia reminds me of Katie Hopkins who was on The Apprentice.....

thekidsrule Thu 28-Jun-12 20:40:55

does anybody know the basic rules and elegibiity regarding UC ?????,ive read some of the white paper but considering its due in next year their dosent seem to be a plain text explaining the guidlines etc

im sure some of us are going to be in for a shock

FrothyDragon Fri 29-Jun-12 09:17:12

"91. There is to be a time-limit of two years on payment of housing costs to claimants in the full conditionality group of Universal Credit. When such a claimant has received help with housing costs for a period of two years these payments will stop and will not be reinstated until a claimant has had a break in claim and has served a further waiting period. This is underpinned by the principle of providing short-term help through the benefits system and because it is not considered appropriate that this help is provided indefinitely. This is intended to focus the help that is given through the benefits system on those on low income when they need it most."
The FUCK? You don't suddenly stop needing support with housing costs, if you're receiving them in the first place.

The Government is so out of touch with reality, it's scary. sad

YoYoYoItsTillyMinto Fri 29-Jun-12 09:24:38

full conditionality group = job seekers only, so people who havent found a job in 2 years.

I just want to know what they are going to do with all the homeless people/families, because if this takes affect there will be a lot

and presume that the idea will be to force people into any job, fair enough but if you have a teacher who is skilled working in a shop because nothing else is available then were do the unskilled go?

and does the two years start from when they are switched over to universal credit? or does it mean when they are switched over if they have already been on H/B for two years they are told to fuck off.

Pickgo Fri 29-Jun-12 09:46:11

Yoyo Full conditionality = job seekers only. I'm not sure that is right.

I thought it was basically anyone whose income is less than NMW (ie about £11,000) and whose children were older than 1 if in a couple or older than 13 if lp. (or 5years-12 term-time if lp).

Full conditionality depends on your children's ages and your income. Basically it's anyone who needs state help.

I'd rather pay a reduced tax rate and take out unemployment insurance - at least if I needed to claim I wouldn't get a whole load of judgement from the insurance company on whether I was a scrounger etc.

Pickgo Fri 29-Jun-12 09:48:43

Cahu I know what you mean.

People on mn seem to know who Xenia is in rl. I don't. Is she the editor of the Daily Fail? She sounds like it.

Can anyone enlighten me?

FrothyDragon Fri 29-Jun-12 09:52:20

Pickgo, that's what I thought Full Conditionality was as well.

And no, we can't enlighten you on who Xenia is... But your guess did raise a smile.

YoYoYoItsTillyMinto Fri 29-Jun-12 12:42:38
FrothyOM Fri 29-Jun-12 19:50:43

I hope Ian Duncan Shit burns in hell.

Xenia Fri 29-Jun-12 22:39:04

I am a great fan. IDS is doing well and his reforms will really help in simplifying a very complex system.

Pickgo Fri 29-Jun-12 22:56:56

But I don't suppose you are personally affected are you Xenia? You can afford to 'be a great fan' as you watch from the sidelines.

But they elaborate further (as far as I can see, recipients refers not just to job seekers but anyone claiming any level of UC, that is part-timers and low earners):-

People will be placed into groups mirroring the four conditionality levels being introduced under existing benefits:
a. Full conditionality. This will be the default option for recipients including lone parents and couples with older children. Recipients in this group will be subject to the same requirements to actively seek work and to be available for work as they would under Jobseeker’s Allowance.

And this:-
However, once Universal Credit is established we will be able to raise or lower this threshold and apply conditionality to a greater number of recipients.
22. This will enable us to encourage people to increase their earnings and hours in a way that we have never been able to do before, helping people along a journey toward financial independence from the state.

Xenia Sat 30-Jun-12 16:08:54

That quote is wonderful. It's why we love IDS. It is just what the nation needs - a system which is designed to make people feel better of in work. If he can pull it off the 59% who want action on benefits will certainly be lauding him to the skies.

Lougle Sat 30-Jun-12 16:34:17

But Xenia, if there is a finite number of jobs which exceed the conditionality threshold (there is) and the number of people in the full conditionality group exceeds that finite number of jobs, what happens?

We will be in a situation where people are working full time, yet having to actively seek work which doesn't exist. How is that equitable?

The proposed system would penalise someone working 34 hours per week at NMW, yet ignore someone working 16 hours per week in an executive job.

jellybeans Sat 30-Jun-12 17:06:02

This Gov is crap and if this comes in there will be more riots and crime will shoot up. The one good thing is that they will hopefully loose the next election. They are so bad they make Gordon Brown seem pretty good.

Orwellian Sat 30-Jun-12 20:23:41

Oh FFS! Leave Xenia alone. She is entitled to her opinion whether you agree with her or not. I hate the way Mumsnet gets all Stasi on anyone who doesn't have the standard leftwing right think.

YoYoYoItsTillyMinto Sat 30-Jun-12 20:33:36

If they mean adjust the pressure to find work according to the current state of the economy, that is good. Turn up pressure in the good times the reduce in the bad ones. Its fine tuning the safety net according the employment market.

If that is what they are doing its genius.

LineRunner Sat 30-Jun-12 20:36:08

'Markets decide'?

You mean those criminally fiddled, manipulated 'free' markets? Great fucking argument.

Pickgo Sat 30-Jun-12 22:11:00

orwellian I somehow think someone so misguidedly assertive of their bigoted views as xenia needs no defender. And it's not leftwing to want justice and equality, just humane and right.

Why does the govt think people need encouragement to increase their income? Yes there are 8 million people working part-time - I doubt any but a very small proprtion chose that (may be the ones fitting around bringing up children).

The tax credit system has subsidised businessess to employ part-timers who can only afford to work p-t because their income is topped up by tax credits. Take TCs away and businesses won't suddenly be so profitable that they can employ them all as full-timers. So then there 8 m looking for f-t while businesses go bankrupt because they can't afford f-t. This is the worse economic crisis since the Grt Depression according to some, yet this is the time to introduce much tougher conditions to state help? Yeah... real genius.

The 'posh boys' just don't get it do they?

CouthyMow Sun 01-Jul-12 08:31:49

What about people that have been put on 'short hours'? I know quite a few locally to me that have been put on 'short hours' and are unable to find alternative FT work.

The local stats for my town show that there are more people working PT than there are FT. I know lots of people personally that work TWO PT jobs, for 12 hrs each, but can't fit ANYTHING else in around childcare AND their other two jobs. And these are Lone Parents.

And elsewhere in the UC policy briefing notes, it states that Lone Parents whose DC are aged between 5yo and 12yo can wait to find term time only, school hours only jobs (ha, the Holy Flipping Grail!), or work that fits in with the available childcare. How will that work, if they are being told that they can look for work that fits around available childcare, if a) there is no work that fits in around the available childcare, b) there is no childcare available (we have a severe shortage of childcare places for school-age DC), and c) after two years, their rent will stop being paid?!

How contradictory!

CouthyMow Sun 01-Jul-12 08:34:22

Hopefully it won't affect me, I'm starting an OU course in October, to hopefully make myself employable at all, so if I work hard, I should be finished and seeking work (and hopefully find it) long before I am ever put in the full conditionality group!

FrothyOM Sun 01-Jul-12 17:03:23

How Universal Credit Will Create A Latchkey Generation of Hungry Children
Posted on June 28, 2012 by johnny void | 27 Comments

The Tory Government’s war on women is to escalate even further when Iain Duncan Smith’s brutal new welfare regime begins in 2014.

The new Universal Credit scheme will replace Child Tax Credits and Income Support for both working and non-working parents alike. The scheme is intended to ‘make work pay’, however in reality few will be better off than they are under the current system. Already Universal Credit, which was intended to simplify the benefits system, is mired in complexity and running both behind schedule and over budget. The vast computer database behind the scheme was originally planned to be in place by 2013, however recent reports reveal that date has now been pushed back to mid 2014.

A generation of latchkey kids, living in unprecedented poverty, will be one of the consequences of the new regime which will treat parents with older children exactly the same way it treats those with no childcare responsibilities at all.

Universal Credit is under-pinned by a ‘claimant commitment’ which means that claimants will find themselves at risk of benefit sanctions or workfare if they are unable to find work for 35 hours a week at the minimum wage. Part time workers will be forced to leave work at the drop of a hat to attend interviews for full time work, whilst self-employed claimants will face in-work benefit cuts if they fail to earn enough money in any given month.

It will be the treatment of single and low earning parents which is perhaps one of the cruellest aspects of the draconian new measures which will see children punished for the perceived sins of their parents and parents punished should they put their children’s interests before those of the Jobcentre.

Single mums whose children are over the age of 13 will be expected to work up to 35 hours a week. Under the new rules, they will also be expected to travel up to 90 minutes to and from work. This will mean that a single parents in a 9 to 5 job could find themselves having to leave the house at 7.30 am and not return until half past six in the evening.

Whilst Iain Duncan Smith talks of truancy being one of the defining factors in increasing child poverty, he intends to take young people’s parents away at precisely the time they need to be getting the kids up for school.

Some childcare support is available under the scheme, but for those on low incomes, forced to spend a fortune on fares to get to work and back, it will prove to be unaffordable. Only 70% of childcare costs are to be met under the new regime.

Once again the toff Government reveal they know nothing of the lives of those on low income. No doubt ministers will point to the hard working middle classes who commute into London and leave the kids with child minders to get to work. What they won’t mention is that a season ticket for many commuters can cost well over £100 a week It’s not laziness that stops minimum wage workers from travelling long distances to work. It’s unaffordable rail prices that trap people in the area in which they live.

Single mums could be forced to abandon their children to take up work that barely covers transport and childcare costs. If they refuse they will face sanctions. If they refuse more than once they could find themselves facing sanctions for up to three years.

Jobcentre staff – or whoever replaces them in the new system, which is set to be ‘digital by default’ – are to be given some discretion is assessing what kind of work is suitable for parents. Whilst travel time and costs may be a factor that can be considered, the current target based culture inflicted by managers on DWP staff mean there will be constant pressure on advisors to sanction claimants. Already it is the most vulnerable who are at highest risk of sanctions. Figures suggest that of the 10,000 sanctions handed out to sick and disabled people last year, almost half of those were aimed at people with a mental health condition. The harsh reality is that vital benefits which put food in children’s bellies will be at the mercy of the whims of DWP management.

Sanctioning parent’s benefits on such a huge scale however will still be a new low for even the DWP. Under the current system, out of work parents can be forced to attend ‘Work Focused Interviews’ once their children are in school. Failure to attend these interviews can result in a sanction, however these are the only sanctions currently in place for parents.

This requirement is now to be extended to all those with a child over 1 year of age. Once the child reaches school age then parents will be required to work during the hours whilst the child is at school. When the child reaches 13 then the parents will be treated the same as any other childless claimant.

Parents will be subject to work related activity requirements, such as being sent on the Work Programme, or could be sent to carry out mandatory unpaid work should Jobcentre staff decide they aren’t trying hard enough to find work. Parents will be expected to take any job offered immediately, and will also face sanctions for leaving a job, failing to attend workfare, or missing a back to work style interview with fraud ridden parasites like A4e.

Like now, those sanctioned will be able to make a claim for Hardship Payments. However the ‘work related’ requirements will be carried over to Hardship Payment schemes, meaning even these can now be stripped leaving families with nothing at all to live on. Even with these payments, the new rules state they will only be only be intended to meet immediate costs in relation to accommodation, heating, food and hygiene. There is no mention of children’s clothes, toys, fares to school, household items and all of the endless other expenses that having kids can bring.

The nightmare scenario will see parents torn between providing adequate supervision and support for their children, or being sent to work from dusk till dawn 50 miles away for the meagre minimum wage. Mums who cut down hours, or refuse full time work, perhaps because their teenage child is going through a rough time, will be stripped of benefits. If they continue to refuse to abandon their children to the street, then they will not even qualify for Hardship Payments, meaning children going hungry and homelessness as rent goes unpaid.

Sanctioning parents on this scale is unprecedented in the history of the Welfare State and there has been little thought as to the consequences, both for the children affected and wider society. A study carried out by the DWP themselves (PDF), based on the small number of parents sanctioned for not attending Work Focused Interviews makes for grim reading. The report found that “the most common causes of a lone parent failing to attend (Work Focused Interviews) were centred on caring responsibilities, ill health and the customer simply forgetting.”

Despite the repeated slurs aimed at feckless single parents the report found that: “there was no evidence of lone parents making an active decision to not
attend a Work Focused Interview.”

Perhaps of most concern is that the study found that those sanctioned had “demonstrated higher levels of ill health, both of themselves and of their children” and that a “greater prevalence of debt” was found amongst sanctioned parents.

Significantly the study also revealed: “In response to the key research question of this project, this study has found that amongst the lone parents in this sample, the sanction regime has had negligible effects upon labour market behaviour.”

In other words sanctions don’t encourage parents to find work and simply increase the crippling financial pressures they already face.

Despite all this sanctions are to get longer, tougher and be extended to hundreds of thousands more claimants. Hardship Payments are now to be recoverable, meaning that even once the sanction is over, benefit payments will continue to be reduced until they have been paid back. With Hardship Payments covering soaring rents, this could leave some claimants thousands of pounds in debt to the Government, to add to the debts most of them already have.

It is not just single parents who will be affected by the ruthless new system. Under the new rules, couple with children will both be expected to work up to 35 hours a week if they are only earning minimum wage. Claimant conditionality for Universal Credit, which means the aforementioned workfare and sanctions regime, will only stop when both parents are earning minimum wage in full time jobs. This grotesque economic discrimination will mean that if one partner earns twice the minimum wage then his partner can stay at home and look after the children without constant harassment from DWP busybodies. However should one partner only earn minimum wage then the other will be expected to go out and work full time themselves. The right for one parent to stay at home, whilst still in receipt of Universal Credit to top up family earning, will only be for those better off. Once again this toff Government is punishing those simply because they are not able to earn a higher than minimum wage.

Whilst millions of parents are likely to be affected by the changes when Universal Credit is brought in, in practice it will be single mums, and mums in low income families, who will face the most insidious aspects of the scheme. It will be their children who suffer the most hardship as lives and futures are devastated, all because of Iain Duncan Smith’s obsession with forcing mothers into full time work. It has already been admitted that Universal Credit probably won’t save any money. It is simply an ideological attack, executed by rich men, on some of the most vulnerable and poorest families.

Swivel eyed right wingers have often claimed there is no real poverty in the UK because children don’t go hungry. Iain Duncan Smith’s brutal and ignorant reforms will mean that in future crippling debt, hungry children, forced labour and teenagers left on their own devices to prowl the streets, will be enshrined in social legislation.

The draft regulation for Universal Credit have just been published and are open to consultation at: http://ssac.independent.gov.uk/consult.shtml

Universal Credit, Self Employment and the Minimum Wage

Universal Credit’s Attack on Householders (and who really benefits)


FrothyOM Sun 01-Jul-12 17:04:24

I love that blog!!! The above post was copied and pasted from the blog in the link.

Xenia Sun 01-Jul-12 17:35:28

Tyhere is such a divide. Very hard working single mothers are supporting these lay abouts who think nust because they have a child under 13 they can sit about all day supported by other single mothers who are tax payers. The blog really does make people (the 59% who want these changes) realise what we are up against.

What is so special about these lazy mothers that they cannot be working hard like the rest of us. If they cannot afford not to work they should work not excpect hand outs.

Alsto nothing benefits women more than being forced to work. They may not like it but it is that which most achieves equality for them and gives them the opportunities to climb up the ladder so we can get to a position with men and women equal in numbers in positions of power.

FrothyOM Sun 01-Jul-12 18:03:55

"If they cannot afford to work they should work"

Xenia, you are funny grin

overtherooftops Sun 01-Jul-12 18:09:47

Xenia I am a lone parent but would love to work full time (work part time). I am desperate to in fact. However I cannot find full time work despite having skills and qualifications, I have childcare with space nearby, I am ready to go, in my local paper for the whole of the two big towns there were three jobs, one for a roofer, one temp office for three weeks and one delivering leaflets.

There lies the big problem with the "lets all go back to work and it will be jolly hockey sticks!"

YoYoYoItsTillyMinto Sun 01-Jul-12 21:17:48

over - but that doesnt explain why in the last boom, jobs were taken by migrants while people remained on benefits.

maybe not everyone is as keen to work? or not realistic about what they can earn? or does not want to move? etc. etc.

overtherooftops Sun 01-Jul-12 22:17:30

But the problem is not the last boom, the problem is here and now, especially for those who have left school since the recession started.

If there aren't enough jobs for people to take a job particularly at lower skill levels what are they meant to do. I know of several people who have gone for unskilled low paid jobs with graduates being at the same interview. The migrant issue has created more competition for jobs as well so again the unskilled have less of a chance.

University fees have gone up, the poor cannot better themselves that way in order to stand more chance of getting a job.

The poor cannot afford to go to college so you cannot take a course at college with a proper qualification/trade at the end of it.

So I do not know what the answer is, maybe the answer is to bring back some of our industry and manufacturing to the UK, maybe we need to work out what we have shortages in and give people incentives to train in those areas. Maybe we need to hit schools with proper old style apprenticeship training in a skill like the old days so kids leave with a trade.

I would move for a job, but the problem is you often do not get paid for a month so how is a person going to be able to afford to move in order to move for a job? Poor people do not have the money to save.

If people cannot get jobs because there is a lack of jobs rather than not being arsed to get one, then nothing is going to be achieved by stripping them of everything, someone who loses all benefits and ends up in a hostel will still get money in some way from the rich. They aren't going to suddenly think, "fuck I have ended up living on streets because I cannot get a job, I know I will get a job"

overtherooftops Sun 01-Jul-12 22:28:35

and also genuinely question because I know nothing of this.

I accept in the last boom a lot of people had got used to being on benefits particularly generational claiming.

But did people remain on benefits because migrants took the jobs or did migrants take the jobs because people wanted to remain on benefits?

I lived in an area that had a massive rise in population, now there are not enough jobs. I don't just mean international migrants, a lot of people from the UK moved to the area, local people were struggling for jobs, instead of 5 people going for a job there were 300 and people who would usually be in much higher paid jobs end up at the same interview because of the economic downturn.

So Joe Bloggs at the bottom of the ladder who has just left school with ok gcses who would normally get the basic shop worker on NMW, suddenly finds himself shunted by jane doe who has a degree in retail usually would get a higher paid job but there are not any in the area she wants so she goes for this hoping she will get a foot in the door.

FiftyShadesofViper Sun 01-Jul-12 22:32:57

I'm getting worried, I find myself agreeing with Xenia again!

I have recently learned that someone I know, after her divorce, chose to reduce her working hours and work in a job that did not relate to her professional qualifications, this made her total monthly takehome pay less than £1k per month. She then gets around £1k per month in child support from ex-partners, around £1k per month in tax credits and another £500 in child benefit and other allowances.

I am absolutely in favour of benefits for people who really need them and am in awe of how some people on mumsnet manage in circumstances that I couldn't face but do not understand how a single mother who chooses not to work and utilise qualifications in which the state has funded her can rake in almost £3.5k each month. There are many working families on much less and this system needs reform to get that money to those who need it rather than those who just choose not to work.

overtherooftops Sun 01-Jul-12 22:45:40

Fiftyshades is that including childcare that 1k a month tax credits or has she got lots of children?

My cousin is self employed, lone parent, has two children, declared income (second year of self employment of £2130 for the year

She gets ctc and working credits and allowances of £608 per month and £276 towards her rent. No maintenance at all.

So that seems like a huge amount as though she is not declaring something somewhere?! unless she has six kids or huge childcare bills!

thekidsrule Sun 01-Jul-12 22:51:48

i would be very suprised if your friend is recieving this much

her pay is roughly £240 -250 a week to start,i cant see that she will get huge tax credits and child benefit,your saying she gets £1500 in tc and cb alone i really dont see that unless she has ten children

so without maintanance shes clearing £2500 i dont believe that

thekidsrule Sun 01-Jul-12 22:56:34

x post with overtheroftops

maintanance dosent really matter as its not taken into account for tc

id be intrested in a breakdown on these figures,because this these type of figures banded about make people think thats what people get,dont believe a word,no wonder theres so much benefit bashing if people report figures like this,

CouthyMow Sun 01-Jul-12 23:11:52

Did you see the bit about care leavers aged 16 and 17 having NO entitlement to Universal Credit?

Or the bit in the same paragraph where 16 & 17 yo Care Leavers that have dependant DC or are disabled being entitled to UC but being unable to claim the housing element?


<<Lost for words>>

overtherooftops Sun 01-Jul-12 23:15:40

does anyone know if there is a calculator available for it yet, I dont claim IS or JSA or such but I do get tax credits.

CouthyMow Sun 01-Jul-12 23:32:23

Good bits? There is one - the maximum paid amount for childcare is rising from £210 a week to £273 a week. That IS helpful.

CouthyMow Sun 01-Jul-12 23:35:17

<<coughs>> I am the only available calculator, basing my calculations on the UC policy briefing notes, but am currently unable to do personal calculations due to personal awful neighbour dispute involving police problems. I will try to dig out my formula and do a calc for you towards the end of next week if you want.

They will not be publishing an online Calculator until next April, when it becomes current policy.

Pickgo Sun 01-Jul-12 23:36:47

I can understand a single mum remaining on part-time hours after a divorce. Family break-ups can affect children quite severely you know Fiftyshits bloody obvious to most with one brain cell functioning

People I know in this situation have made the responsible parenting decision postdivorce, to focus on their children more and ensure they are there in order to reassure their children and help them adjust to the new family circumstances One mum I know had to take time off work repeatedly because her DD became ill - nothing was diagnosed and after about 18 mths it stopped - friend thinks it might have been reaction to family split, as the paedetrician had suggested.

Children are not just mini adults at 13, they often need more input then than when they were younger.

I don't resent paying taxes to help support parents who are acting responsibly and ensuring as much as they can that their children are well looked after.

CouthyMow Sun 01-Jul-12 23:37:19

They will also pay childcare costs for a month prior to you starting a job, provided you have been offered it, which takes care of the month's deposit most Nurseries insist on now.

Pickgo Sun 01-Jul-12 23:38:02

* Fiftyshits=Fiftyvipers

<Freudian slip>

CouthyMow Sun 01-Jul-12 23:39:30

Conditionality is to be 'eased' for 6 months following the bereavement of a partner or child.

CouthyMow Sun 01-Jul-12 23:49:38

Bad points: you can't get elements for being disabled yourself AND caring for someone disabled.

So computer will STILL say no when faced with me, a disabled Lone Parent who has 2 out of 4 DC's that are disabled.

I could claim for both the DC's that have disabilities, but then I would be classed as not disabled.

WHY have they still not fixed this? They don't live in the real world.

Oh, and while I could claim for more than one DC with disabilities, if both people in a couple are disabled, then they can't BOTH claim in respect of their disabilities. Surely that is in breach of the equality act? It is saying that if two people with disabilities are in a relationship, they won't BOTH be financially supported, yet they WOULD be if they were both claiming as single people with disabilities.

Eugenics much? Oh, you can be disabled, but you had better not be in a relationship with another person with disabilities, or we will take away half of your financial support, decide between you which one is disabled and which one isn't, and the other can go and work FT, there's a Love, you're not disabled any more, remember...

overtherooftops Sun 01-Jul-12 23:55:08

I am looking at the brief now

what is personal independence payment? and is employment and support allowance JSA?

Pickgo Sun 01-Jul-12 23:57:13

Wow Couthy - how humane, a whole 6 months to recover from your child's death during which conditionality is 'eased'. They are all heart aren't they?

Who the fuck do these people think they are that they can dictate to others to such an extent? This is our bloddy money NOT theirs. WE have paid our taxes in to a collective pot so that it is there for when we fall on hard times. God it makes my blood boil. I would really rather stop paying taxes altogether and get private insurance instead of state benefits, rather than accept this potential degree of control over MY life.

Xenia you know you haven't got the monopoly on working hard. Many of us do - damn hard. Get over it and stop using it as an excuse to justify bullying vulnerable people.

thekidsrule Sun 01-Jul-12 23:57:50

PIP will take over DLA

ESA has taken over the old incapacity benefit

CouthyMow Sun 01-Jul-12 23:57:53


It looks VERY like they are taking away the right to appeal against a WCA!

A WCA (Work Capability Assessment) is the much-maligned 'test' of fitness for work that is administered by ATOS. And between 45% and 70% (depending on whether they have professional advice which legal aid no longer covers ) of people who fail their assessment first time have their disability benefits reinstated on appeal.

This means that between 45% and 70% of people who have GENUINE disabilities will no longer have the right to appeal after failing a WCA.

I'll post the relevant passage in a second, can't link as am on phone.

thekidsrule Sun 01-Jul-12 23:59:19

im sure PICKGO can fill you in more as i think she is more qualified on disability matters

Pickgo Mon 02-Jul-12 00:01:09

thekidsrule sorry don't know much about disability matters

thekidsrule Mon 02-Jul-12 00:01:57

bugger i meant COUTHMOW sorry,lol

overtherooftops Mon 02-Jul-12 00:02:07

Couthy surely that will not stand up in human rights courts? or is that why Cameron wants out of EU?

Thanks the kids rule.

So if I get tax credits and only tax credits now what the hell happens in UC switch over confused

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 00:03:33

120. Where a WCA determination finds that someone is fit for work, a fresh WCA determination can only be made :

• Where a new condition develops;
• Where a condition has worsened;
• Where it is shown that the WCA determination was based on ignorance of, or mistake to, relevant information.


That is all. I can't think of anything but profanities to cover this particular gem.

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 00:09:56

No right to appeal against a WCA that is administered by a Company that have been repeatedly shown to not be fit for purpose. And deliberate disability deniers (sp? Can't be right, denying something has nothing to do with tights!)

No fucking right to appeal against a test that tests fitness for work in someone with uncontrolled epilepsy by making them raise their arms over their head, bend down to pick up a pencil, and declares them fit for FT work, against the advice of one of the top Neurologists in the Country, who has stated that this person is AT BEST fit for a maximum of 16 hours a week SOME weeks.


And that was genuinely what happened to me. And my case is not the worst. There was the poor unfortunate man who was passed as fit for FT work, then had a heart attack and died on his way out of the ATOS building...

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 00:10:49

Overthreooftops - are you talking about WTC or CTC?

thekidsrule Mon 02-Jul-12 00:13:05

i really wonder where all these " changes" are gonna end

frightening times ahead for many

i still cant believe more of a fuss hasnt been caused,mind from what i havent seen in the media i dont think people realise whats coming in

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 00:19:07

The work focused interviews are already in place for those with DC aged 1+?

My Ex-P left me when DS3 was 4mo. I had to have a work-focused interview before I could put in a claim for Income Support, which I had to attend with an ebf 4mo. (They were also rude about me bf'ing during the appointment, asked me to wait till the hour long appointment was finished. I refused, and fed him anyway, and pointed out that had I been employed, I would still have been on Mat leave, and would not have been called into work...)

I had another when he was 10mo, and another is booked for later this month (he is 17mo). So some jobcentres actually insist on you attending BEFORE your baby is a year old!

I still got told I would face sanctions if I didn't attend. And I'm not alone locally. Maybe they have run out of other people to sanction in order to meet their targets?!

overtherooftops Mon 02-Jul-12 00:19:14

CTC more than anything

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 00:20:21

<<Goes back to paper for a bit of 'light' bedtime reading. Shouldn't really, I'll be having nightmares!>>

PandaSpaniel Mon 02-Jul-12 00:23:29

Oh crap. I have just left my partner and am now a lone parent (two children). Due to antenatal depression I gave my job up last October and currently get maternity allowance.

I am panicking, not only do I have to pick up the pieces of my life, dealing with depression, a new baby and a distraught son etc. I now have the added worry of not being able to cope financially.

And just how the f*ck did the conservatives end up in power when we voted in liberals???

thekidsrule Mon 02-Jul-12 00:26:23

well when i change from IS to JSA my son is five,i have to attend/sign on ever week

why do i as a single parent have to go in weekly but everybody else every 2weeks,isnt that discrimination to a single parent

fare play if everybody went in weekly but as im aware its just single parents weekly,work that one out

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 00:26:32

CTC will be paid calendar monthly rather than weekly, as an element of UC. Your current amount of CTC will be protected until you have a very spurious change of circumstance.

Could be a house move, increasing or decreasing hours at work, changing employer for a new job, moving house, a partner moving in OR OUT, your youngest DC reaching either their 1st, 5th, or 12th birthday, and many other equally dubious 'changes of circumstance' that will result in the loss of your 'transitional protection' if your UC award would be LESS than your current CTC award.

Your UC award will be less if you have two or more DC, as under TC's, the child element is the sane for each DC, whereas under UC, you get more for the first DC, and less for the second and subsequent DC.

But you might get more of your childcare costs covered than under TC's, so that makes it all better...

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 00:31:27

Thekidsrule - at least you GET JSA. I won't when DS3 turns 5yo. Because I am 'too disabled' to fulfil the seeking FT work criteria. Yet I won't get ESA (the replacement for Incapacity Benefit --which I did get, at the highest rate--) because I am classed as 'too able' for it...

So if I can't find work of 24 hrs plus and anyone idiotic enough to employ me with uncontrolled epilepsy requiring frequent time off sick with no notice, then I will have no income at all.

A weekly signing would be a small inconvenience in return for support while I scrabble around for an employer willing to employ someone with a disability that the DWP and crappy ATOS refuse to recognise...

thekidsrule Mon 02-Jul-12 00:36:50

so couthymow have they stopped your ib now and wont agree your disabled enough for esa,how do you cope financially??

bad times

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 00:50:39

Aaaaaah - claimants IN WORK will be exempt from the benefits cap. Does that mean FT work though? Or 24 hrs? Or 16 hrs? Or 8 hrs? Is it ANY work?

A lot of my friends work as MDA's, and work for roughly 12-15 hours a week. They have taken these jobs as they are during school hours, but they don't get help with their childcare costs at present (which they will under UC).

<<Reads some more, excuse the brain dumps!>>

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 00:57:28

Thekidsrule - right now I am 'protected' by the fact that my DS3 is under 5yo, so I am on Income Support.

He won't be so young forever, and the Government have NO intention of closing this loophole. According to the DWP, and DIAL, I was the first 'customer' in the COUNTRY to bring this loophole to their attention, when Ex-P left in June last year. I don't believe that for a minute NOW, given my research since!

But yes, I have daily panic attacks about how I will support my 4 DC in just 3.5 years, if I am unable to find work of 24 hrs a week or more (That even my Neuro stated that I am not fit to work that many hours...) before then. Add in a 14yo with disabilities that I will have to support WITHOUT ANY INCOME FOR HER AND money taken out of my HB for having a still dependant 'non-dependant' living at home, and is it any wonder I am freaking out?!

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 01:02:23

And I cope with Call Me Dave's. 'big society' by relying on charities, because even my local SS adults with disabilities team can't help.

They came out 4 years ago, did a care needs assessment on me, told me I needed a carer for two hours a day, and someone to do my ironing and mow my lawns, and get a wet room fitted (I currently have to PAY a carer to sit with me while I have a bath, out of the normal rate of IS...)

They told me that I NEED these things...But that they can't PROVIDE them for me as I am under 60yo, and their entire budget for adults with disabilities is taken up on care for the over 60's. Only another 29 years to go before they will help me...hmm

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 01:07:20

Ah! The In-Work exemption for the UC cap is the monthly equivalent earnings of 16 hours a week @ NMW.

And all childcare payments made will be outside the UC cap, so you will still receive the full amount of financial relief towards your childcare as if you had not gone over the cap.

thekidsrule Mon 02-Jul-12 01:12:23

hell couthy thats bloody awful

your head must be in a permanent spin

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 01:13:12

Ok, they fuck with the disabled, yet they are going to recognise Kinship carers for the first time?!

About bloody time too, kinship carers will be put in the no conditionality group for the first year after they become kinship carers.

thekidsrule Mon 02-Jul-12 01:13:29

nite,will catch up on any more comments tom

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 01:13:47

Like the Exorcist my dear!

FiftyShadesofViper Mon 02-Jul-12 01:43:56

I think the figures above do include childcare but that is only for 2 children as the oldest are beyond that age.

Regardless of that I still think it is wrong that she can claim that much when other families work more hours and struggle. You have only to look at other posters on this thread to see that.

Pickgo. She has been very open and vocal to friends about not working more to minimise income so she can get more in benefits and off ex-partners (and has offended several other friends in the process). I do understand what you say about the children's needs but they are well supported by extended family and their life is probably less traumatic now than before the divorce.

Will bear in mind the FiftyShits suggestion for my next namechange hmm

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 02:22:39

grin at fiftyshadesofviper changing her/his onscreen name to fiftyshits.

I am going to start an OU course in October, which will hopefully give me more chance of getting my arse off MN more often getting paid work before DS3 turns 5yo. My aim is to be working at least 16 hrs a week by the time he is 3yrs9 months, and upping that to 24 hrs by the time he is 5yo. I don't want him in wrap around care more than 2 days a week until he has been at FT school for a term, and those figures add up. It has been my long-term plan since Ex-P left just over a year ago, but I wanted to enjoy my last baby while he was still a baby before taking on additional work through studying.

Most people I know that have been on long term benefits HAVE worked in the past, but are currently unemployed for the following reasons:

Caring for DC's with Autism that are often excluded from school, so the LP has to be at home with them (and I'm talking about from YR, inclusion is bollocks IMO).

Relationship breakdown resulting in resignation as Ex-partner was the childcare.

On short hours and unable to find other work to make the hours over TC level (so claiming JSA with a deduction for earnings).

Working between 10-15 hours a week, and as above, claiming JSA or IS and declaring their wages.

Studying as they left school with NO qualifications.

Caring for a paralysed partner, AND a DC with disabilities.

Caring for a partner with Cancer.

Resigned from job as DC has leukaemia and is a Lone Parent.

Caring for a DC with disabilities, but not claiming Carers' Allowance as she would then be unable to claim Free School Meals for her 3 DC, which would cost her MORE than the Carers' Allowance.

In temporary accommodation after being in a refuge after fleeing an extreme DV situation, and her case is still ongoing through Crown Court, and she is trying to deal with 4 DC who will NEVER be allowed to see their father again...

Anyone want any more examples of why some of the people I know are on benefits, and CLASSED as unemployed?

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 02:33:20

I currently get £80 a month maintenance for my DD (of which £20 a month is arrears for the 12 years I got nothing, he will be paid up when DD is roughly 28...).

I get zilch, nada, diddly squat for DS1 from HIS father.

I get £75 a week for DS2 & DS3 from their father, but he pays extra over and above the bare minimum the CSA says he should because BOTH DC have medical problems that have associated extra costs, yet neither receive DLA. DS2 has severe asthma that means I use extra electricity running both his nebuliser and a Hepa air filter, AND he has two different muscle problems that mean he is unable to walk the two miles to his school, so I have to take him and his brother to school by bus, and pay £7+ a day for the privilege. DS3 has severe allergies, he is on a Dairy, Soy, Nut free diet, and his milk costs me £90 a month on TOP of what the NHS will prescribe, and his food is dearer too.

I have 4 DC, and I wasn't getting that amount of TC's last time I worked PT as a lone parent, even including my extortionate childcare costs and the fact that my earnings back then were £90 a week for 22.5 hrs over 3 days...

That's another thing, most jobs here are for either : 12, 15, 16, 22.5 or 30 hrs a week. It would be virtually impossible to get a job here for 24 hrs a week, you would end up doing 30. Wonder if that's the same in most areas or if it's just locally?

YoYoYoItsTillyMinto Mon 02-Jul-12 06:39:56

Over, actually what happened in the last boom is highly pertinant - we have a welfare budget that has grown massively for decades and if people arent taking jobs when they are avaiable that is highly significant. Of course its not the fault of recent school leavers but I dont think the concept of fault is useful here.

We have a trillion pound debt. £32k per household. £2k pa on interest just to services the debt. People choosing not to work when there were jobs. Of course there will be jobs again and we need to fix the system so people take jobs as and when they become available and we dont repeat past mistakes. As now we have an already massive debt.

CouthyMow Mon 02-Jul-12 07:18:56

Fiftyshadesofviper - yes, your friend may be well supported by her family, and she may get a larger amount of child maintenance than most.

But the base level of benefits for Lone Parents HAVE to be set as if that person has no family support, and receives no maintenance. Because there ARE lots of Lone Parents out there that don't get any other support.

Ok, that may mean that in a few, more unusual cases, there are people like your friend who will end up reasonably comfortable financially, that is the exception, not the norm.

There are relatively few people receiving that much maintenance that still claim top-up benefits like TC's, because they don't believe they need them, so they don't claim.

You can't make a sweeping generalisation that ALL claimants of TC's get that amount of maintenance and still choose to claim, that is just untrue.

And there are people out there that get no maintenance. They aren't so jealous of people like your friend that they want benefits taken away from hundreds of thousands of people.

Most people on benefits would understand that her Ex obviously has a high paid job, and therefore she gets more maintenance than they do if their Ex is in a NMW job. You get paid more for working as a shop assistant in Harrods than you do in Aldi...

Snog Mon 02-Jul-12 07:28:31

My dd is 12.
Her school day ends at 2.50pm
She walks home 2 miles on her own and is home alone until 6pm
She is a latchkey kid as dp and I both work full time.
It may not be ideal but it's hardly the end of the world.

PandaSpaniel Mon 02-Jul-12 09:06:20

snog no its not and I know lots of parents that have to do that to survive financially, however with these new proposals I am worried that even with a FT job I am not going to be able to pay my rent as I have recently become a lone parent.

Xenia Mon 02-Jul-12 09:12:26

These benefits laimants live in another world of ease and don't know how the other half of lone full time working single parents are. They need to toughen up, grow a skin, put up with things. They haven't had it hard enough in a sense. If some of us are bakc at full time work when our babies are 2 weeks as I was, expressing during the day, up every few hours at night and can manage there is no reason anyone else can't.

They have just been molly coddled by a far too generous welfare state and the thought they may actually have to do what huge nmbers of working mothers do seems beyond them. It's going to be a wake up call and do them a lot of good.

I have never had a tax credit. No housing benefit. No state benefits. I support my children alone. It's not that hard. You just have to be prepared to work very hard. I have not not worked for more than 2 weeks over nearly 30 years now so not surprisingly I earn enough.

breadandbutterfly Mon 02-Jul-12 10:27:16

Hardly sounds like a 'world of ease', Xenia! Easy for you to say when you have admitted in the past that one of your advantages has been perfect health, and AFAIK, your dcs are all healthy too. I can't imagine how single parents with disabilities or kids with disabilities cope - it must make it incredibly tough.

overtherooftops Mon 02-Jul-12 10:40:36

I only claim tax credits, no other benefits, have worked since I was 16 full time apart from last year for a couple of months when I had a very serious illness and was in hospital. In fact up till last year I worked six days a week from 11am to midnight.

Now back working part time, desperately looking for full time, lone parent.

I definitely do not have a life of ease! Once I have paid rent I have around £300 a month left for all other bills, council tax, water, tv license, food, clothes, school dinners, gas and electricity.

When I had dc I had been married over ten years, I was in what I thought was a strong marriage.

overtherooftops Mon 02-Jul-12 10:44:27

Also I came from a middle class family who had all gained careers through apprenticeships, I was not encouraged to go to university, my parents had good enough careers to earn decent money but not enough to spend on university although they came in above the calculated amount for no assistance.

Once I was independently living I could not afford to go to university.

Gone are the days in most cases of being able to start work on the Monday after leaving school on the Friday and working your way up through a company and getting a trade at the end.

LittleTyga Mon 02-Jul-12 10:56:08

£35 billion per year is lost to tax avoidance - why don't the Government close these loopholes for 5 years? Raise £175 billion to help with the deficit.

£12 million per year could be saved in Shiny Dave kept his promise to reduce the number of MP's - which he has yet to do!

Europe £12 million per day? really? I don't see why we can't trade but not be paid up members - again this need only be for 5 years and then re-assess.

Leave the sick, disabled alone - sort this lot out first!

mollymole Mon 02-Jul-12 11:13:32

It would be virtually impossible to get a job around here for 24 hours a week, you would end up doing 30.

What the hell is wrong with working 30 hours a week - 30 hours IS part-time.

Most jobs are for 12, 15, 16 22.5 or 30 hours a week - well what is wrong with having 2 or even 3 part-time jobs adding up to the hours of a full time job.

There are always reasons to find as to why people can't do a job, try harder to find reasons why you can.

If a group of single mums say they cannot work because of child care problems why can't they get together and 1 of them become a child minder so that the others in their 'group' can work - and then all of them have a job.

YoYoYoItsTillyMinto Mon 02-Jul-12 11:40:01

little - the govt is closing loopholes.

PandaSpaniel Mon 02-Jul-12 12:35:13

Where are all these jobs? I am going to end up working for McDonalds as no other jobs about. Unless I train up as a CNC engineer (lots of ads for them strangely)

Xenia Mon 02-Jul-12 13:43:55


PandaSpaniel Mon 02-Jul-12 13:52:12

xenia I live in the north west where the housing is cheapest. Where do you suggest I move to?

PandaSpaniel Mon 02-Jul-12 13:53:04

Oh and xenia your poor children, leaving them after two weeks?? Do they even know who their mummy is?

niceguy2 Mon 02-Jul-12 14:20:36

What's wrong with working in Mcdonalds? A young friend of mine works in McD and she's getting some fantastic experience, as many hours as she wants and there seems to be good career progression for those willing to work for it.

Xenia Mon 02-Jul-12 16:43:58

A lot of men go back at 2 weeks an dhow often do you say - does his father even know him? Those anti feminist attitudes are sexist to the core and if this legislation forces women back into work it will be all to the good.

Most working parents see a lot of their children. I breastfed for over a year, they all woke in the night for at least 1 - 3 years to feed and cuddle. We are talking about just during working hours the parents work. I know it's hard for the non working skivers to understand but the squeezed middle are leaving babies to work, are working 12 hour days and are often working at weekends too to pay the benefits of those who think they have some god given right not to leave a baby in order to work to feed it.

My relatives moved from Ireland to the NE for work in the 1800s. Then I moved to London for work leaving all family and friends behind. Where I live there are lots of people who have moved half way across the planet to work in the UK. People often move for work. If there is no work int he NW move where there is work. That might even be in a different country. Could be fun. My great uncles moved to Canada in the 1920s/30s because of the great depression.

overtherooftops Mon 02-Jul-12 16:51:58

How the hell are you meant to move if you do not have surplus income to save, you need money for a deposit and do not get your exsisting deposit back until after you have moved?

I have been looking at moving today, cheapest deposit was £1800 inc admin fee.

YoYoYoItsTillyMinto Mon 02-Jul-12 17:01:54

i would look on moneysavingexpert & ask for advice there but off the top of my head:

1. ebay
2. credit union
3. emergency loan

£1800 - deposit - who many months rent is that for & what type of property?

overtherooftops Mon 02-Jul-12 17:04:18

And yes my relative came from durham., wales and ireland in depression and potato famine but they came, they paid a weeks lodging, no deposit and there were mines and docks and manufacturers and industries.

PandaSpaniel Mon 02-Jul-12 17:24:00

I really don't have the money to move and the job situation is dire throughout the UK. I am quite happy to work, by no means am I a idle skiver. Will do pretty much any job too. I have done all sorts in the past inc being a cleaner.

What I would love to do and am looking into it, is go back to full time education in the hope of gaining qualifications so I have a better chance of a career, not just a dead end job.

Plus like I said the housing costs around here are cheap around £400 pcm which is hard to beat. Not to mention I don't want to have to uproot DS from school and his family.

overtherooftops Mon 02-Jul-12 17:29:22

Yoyo thats a month bond and a month upfront and admin fee for a one bed property in an area I know there is definately full time work in my field.

I do not have £180 never mind £1800 of things to sell on ebay, no consoles/laptops/tv's in our house.

Do you have to be saving with a credit union in order to get a loan with them?

As I said I have always worked full time six days a week and was back at work when dc were 8 weeks old. I only work part time now as I had a serious illness and needed a way back into working long hours again.

I do agree with niceguy though that there is nothing wrong with Mcdonalds, it offers a good management scheme/company car and such.

PandaSpaniel Mon 02-Jul-12 17:36:45

Sorry I didn't mean to slag off McD's or anyone who works there. I really am considering it as like others have mentioned there is good training and possibility of working your way up.

I honestly don't see how moving is going to help me and countless others. Maybe if I had particular skills that were valuable in a certain career but I am just looking for general everyday jobs such as shop work or office work and there are, I would imagine pretty much the same opportunities for this work no matter what area you live in.

PandaSpaniel Mon 02-Jul-12 17:42:47

Oh and shoot me down in flames for taking full advantage of my maternity pay!

Why has this thread come down to how long mums have off work after having a baby? I for one would not have been physically able to go back to work after two weeks as I had a emergency section and wasn't able to walk to the nearest bus stop and back at two weeks post birth.

Maternity pay is there for a reason, to enable mums (and in some cases dads) to spend time bonding and raising their baby. Some people have gone back very soon after the birth good for you, but why am I bad for wanting to spend time with my son?

overtherooftops Mon 02-Jul-12 17:52:11

Are there areas with massive amounts of work that could manage an influx of uk migrants?

PandaSpaniel Mon 02-Jul-12 17:56:08

overtherooftops Oh I do hope so south of France sounds good to me lol

Xenia Mon 02-Jul-12 18:20:58

over, they moved to areas where they was work. A lot of young Irish at the moment are going to New Zealand for example. My uncle moved to Tasmania ni the 60s. People move where the work is. If you want inspiration on how it cna be done for virtually nothing look at all the students who manage to get abroad for virtually nothing, very very very cheap flights, hotels with 4 beds a room which are very very cheap all over the globe (my daughters are expert on all this). One worked in the Caribbean in a holiday resort so all your accommodation is paid for. There are lots of ways to skin a cat but firs tyou have to want to skin it.

Look at Finnish women over here working leaving their chidlren behind or those from the Phillipines or working in Dubai from all over the planet.

It could be fun. YOu could remove your children from a sink estate and life in poverty and start a new life abroad somewhere exciting and hot. Do it. The socialists amongst those on the thread could also escape Cameron in the process.

YoYoYoItsTillyMinto Mon 02-Jul-12 18:25:50

over - i hear what you are saying, but have you tried MSE? they have a forum for people with debt but you dont have to have debt to post. you do a Statement of Affairs, and people will review your finances and give you relevant, practical advice.

The posters have got themselves out of all sort of financial fixes.

Dahlen Thu 05-Jul-12 15:43:16

If the government really want to get people back to work, they need to shake up childcare. Heavily subsidised, readily available childcare would transform the number of women able to work full time.

The vast majority of mothers I meet are hindered from working only because of childcare. I've actually met very few women who want to remain at home for the whole of their children's childhood. Most just want to do it for a short stint at the beginning. The trouble is that they can neither find nor afford full-time childcare and we live in a society where state-controlled institutions such as schools and the NHS seem to think that there is always a parent around to do x, y, z during office hours, which does rather interfere with working life unless you can afford an exclusive nanny or have family to help).

Ironically, encouraging people to move where employment is more likely, reduces the chances of parents on low to average salaries being able to juggle parenting with work as they no longer have a support network to help out during INSET days, unexpected illness, Drs appointments, etc.

Government may currently pay up to 70% of childcare costs, but only if you are single and on NMW. Coupled or earning more than that and they'll reduce it and you won't get to the point where you earn enough to not claim anything until you're earning about £30,000 (for two children). £30,000 isn't that much TBH but it's still more than something like 3/4 of the population and certainly won't pay a nanny.

If the state subsidised childcare the knock-on effects of so many more people in work, spending their earnings, would more than pay for it.

Although it does rather rely on there being jobs for all these emancipated, work-hungry women to go to... wink

And doesn't take into consideration at all about the fact that small children need looking after and is it really that off the wall that shock their own parent might want to do it.

emanddil Tue 24-Jul-12 07:37:38

Id like to ask a question what no one seems to tell you, it says that this universal credit , is for only for those on low incomes, if this true, whats classed as a low income then , cos no one ever says what it is , me and my husband both work, he works full time , and i work parttime, we have 2 children both 4 , theres noway i can work more hours, its hard enough as it is , my husband travels 40miles aday to work and back , hes out 10 hrs a day, i work 9 hrs, over 2 days, im out 13 hrs , by the time ive picked my kids from my mams and got home it takes that long, my mams partly disabled, she finds it hard , but whats to help we cant afford childcare, anyway the chilcare centre in the school closes b4 i get home , i just cant possibly work anymore hrs than i already do, the kids are in full time education, there would be no one to take them or pick them from school, they are far to young to leave alone, what more do the goverment want, blood lol, they need a taste of our life , a reality check is in order i think, we only get child tax credit, and family allowance, we earn just under £21,000 , will we be able to get this new universal credit . im abit concerned and worried, that we will get nothing , please help !!!! thanku

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