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To wonder if there is a Universal Credit tsunami round the corner?

(142 Posts)
ArsenicSoup Mon 17-Nov-14 01:38:31

I'm sure it was announced at Tory conference that the switch-over was being brought forward to February.

Now I can't find reference to it anywhere. Which is odd. Have they quietly dropped the idea? Or are they scarambling to be (half) ready in time?

The local CAB are advertising for volunteer advisers. I qualified nearly ten years ago while a SAHM and worked paid and unpaid in that area for a while. Work is slow (generally, so I have some spare time) and I can't sleep (tonight) and it's annoying me - are the CAB gearing up for chaos? Do they need the help? Is the coalition really going to push this through?

HomeyIDrankTheBeer Mon 17-Nov-14 01:44:11

I had recently read online that UC was being rolled out all over the country in Feb 2015. Cant remember exactly where, but the info was on a .gov website.

ArsenicSoup Mon 17-Nov-14 01:46:06

So I didn't dream it. Thanks <resumes the hunt>

If they do it, it will be an absolute car car crash sad

catsofa Mon 17-Nov-14 01:55:20

CAB are desperate for any help they can get, as cut after cut means that various other agencies (like the one I worked for until very recently) have had their Advice Worker posts cut, and posts which used to cover some welfare/legal advice e.g. Support Workers etc. Waiting times in some areas to get an initial appointment with CAB are ridiculous, and advice is badly needed by a lot more people already, even before the rollout of UC.

Government are probably trying not to make too big a deal about the promised date for UC to be rolled out everywhere, because further delays and disasters are probably inevitable. But I think it is already in place in some areas and yes they are definitely going to do it. And yes it is going to be a car crash.

When you work with clients all day who have to deal with the benefits system you see what a horrific car crash the whole thing already is. If you can possibly spare time and expertise to help then please do!

HomeyIDrankTheBeer Mon 17-Nov-14 02:00:53

www.turn2us.org.uk/information__resources/benefits/universal_credit/universal_credit_timetable.aspx

This is similar to what I read on the .gov one, I think (hope!) they are behind schedule on it?

ArsenicSoup Mon 17-Nov-14 02:06:16

Thanks cats. All perfectly obvious really, if i switch my brain on. I'll stop dithering smile

Honey that info on Entitled to doesn't seem to have changed since before the conference announcement hmm

ArsenicSoup Mon 17-Nov-14 02:08:19

Oh does that mean your post was cut too Cat? Sorry if so sad

catsofa Mon 17-Nov-14 02:20:18

It was yeah, though TBH the place I used to love had become a nightmare because of cut after cut to the service, so I was glad to leave in the end. Really can't afford it though, and I'm still looking for something else.

This was an independent project BTW, not CAB. That kind of client work can still be very rewarding, and keeping your qualifications and experience up to date in the area would give you loads of options for different kinds of work to do later if you wanted. Hope you enjoy it!

ArsenicSoup Mon 17-Nov-14 02:22:20

I used to enjoy it (and get very depressed too). I normally work freelance alone in my study so it would make a change.

catsofa Mon 17-Nov-14 02:50:11

Be careful with the depression. No amount of knowing in theory what the changes have been, the theoretical implications of the bedroom tax, the rumours about current levels of sanctioning etc can really prepare you for some of the situations you might find clients facing now, it may well be quite a shock if you haven't done it for a while.

Definitely do it, but also take good care of yourself. Maybe start with just the minimum hours they want you for training and see how your sanity levels are in a few months time?

ArsenicSoup Mon 17-Nov-14 03:10:37

Thanks.

I have MN benefit bashing threads to vent my fury on now. Nice groups of idiots in one place wink

But yes, i'll be careful. On the plus side, a letter, referal or calculation could make an even bigger positive impact these days, I'm guessing. They just need more pairs of hands.

SmilesandPilesOfPresents Mon 17-Nov-14 07:41:53

I've heard Febuary as well. I'm already loosing sleep over it. It's going to be a disaster and many will loose the roof over their heads.

SmilesandPilesOfPresents Mon 17-Nov-14 07:47:06

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plans-announced-for-accelerated-rollout-of-universal-credit-after-success-in-north-west

Found it.

ArsenicSoup Mon 17-Nov-14 07:49:21

Oh well done smiles smiles

ArsenicSoup Mon 17-Nov-14 07:53:26

'from early next year'
'will start in Feb 2015'
hmm

Reads like a case of backroom staff having to temper the headline announcements with weasel words. Which is something...but not very clear.

SmilesandPilesOfPresents Mon 17-Nov-14 07:57:42

They're forcing it through before the next election because the next party in charge will scrap it - and they know it.

It's costly, the computer systems won't and can't cope with it, the figures are constantly being fudged (IDS is known for it) it simply WILL NOT WORK.

Anyone claiming anything need to start scraping something together now to try to cover the gap that will be created when they stop one set of benefits to transfer you to the other and that gap could last for a long time.

Everyone needs to remember that when this happens, any payment towards rents, and I assume council tax, won't be made directly anymore, you'll might get the money in the bank to do it yourself but I wouldn't count on it.

SmilesandPilesOfPresents Mon 17-Nov-14 08:08:33

This includes ANYONE claiming working tax credits, child tax credits, housing benefit, child benefit...

in short, the majority of the country is going to be hit by this and they won't know until it's too late.

I read the news everyday, EVERYDAY from various papers and sites and I STILL missed that announcement, that's how quietly they've announced it - which can mean only one thing - it's going to hit everyone HARD.

This also ties in with my other theory, this together with outside influences such as Ebola affecting the economy, we are heading, head first into another recession (or as I see it, we're in the eye of the storm and the second part is about to hit, we've never been out of the first recession.)

No one has anywhere near as much to spend as they did pre 2008, they'll have even less when this hits...the economy doesn't rely on big business as much as DC and co think it does, the trickle down theory doesn't work and it's about to be proven that it doesn't. When we have nothing to spend, stock won't be sold, business will suffer and hey presto..round 2.

I know it sounds like I'm scaremongering but I really do think that is what will happen. We're in for a rough ride and we're not prepared.

ArsenicSoup Mon 17-Nov-14 08:21:09

I read the news everyday, EVERYDAY from various papers and sites and I STILL missed that announcement, that's how quietly they've announced it

YYY -It was a whisper.

The whole scheme has been completely reset once. The computing systems aren't up to scratch. It is genuinely frightening isn't it?

SmilesandPilesOfPresents Mon 17-Nov-14 08:55:04

grin

I've found out why I missed it.

Just browsing through the Politics section and discovered....

It was announced at the same time the Independence vote was in full swing. While everyone was concentrating on that and with it being the biggest news story for a number of weeks, it was the ideal time to whisper that they are going to screw us all over again.

BASTARDS.

familymember Mon 17-Nov-14 09:06:10

They are such an untrustworthy, underhand and uncaring shower. Although if you've found the announcement Smiles, why has no news outlet found and reported it?

I'm really worried about this, not least the ambiguity. Go into any benefits or council office and all the staff talk of the cuts to their own number, who can explain it all?

Also, there is massive part of the population who will have no understanding or sympathy for those who will be affected. If the tories get back in it will be a nightmare.

MisForMumNotMaid Mon 17-Nov-14 09:13:59

turn to us link this implies that whilst UC will be rolled out early 2015 to all job centres it will only be for new single claimants.

The October announcement was rather vague and it feels slightly back tracked on. (Luckily). I'm in one of the early role out areas. It hasn't been smooth.

SmilesandPilesOfPresents Mon 17-Nov-14 09:16:47

They ALWAYS times announcements like this in the shadow of much bigger stories. It's a pattern I first noticed with hikes in gas and electric prices.

High profile murder? Quick, shove the gas price rise in a small space in the corner.

War broken out and US are sticking their nose in? Quick, shove that benefit cut announcement on that page near the back, between those ads.

They do it alll the bloody time.

ArsenicSoup Mon 17-Nov-14 09:19:12

The reset was only recent;

www.itv.com/news/update/2014-05-24/progress-report-universal-credit-scheme-reset-in-2013/

And the news-burying attempts are habitual;

www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/05/universal-credit-reset-was-there-attempt-bury-bad-news

SmilesandPilesOfPresents Mon 17-Nov-14 09:23:43

From the last article

Secretary Rachel Reeves urged the Prime Minister to “urgently get a grip of this failing policy before any more taxpayers money is wasted”.

She added: “The fact that Universal Credit was the only one of the 200 projects assessed by the Major Projects Authority to have been singled out is extremely concerning. It's increasingly clear that Universal Credit is lurching from one crisis to another with incompetent ministers failing to deliver the savings they promised.”

So they've decided to bring it forward instead. Figures.

SmilesandPilesOfPresents Mon 17-Nov-14 09:27:06

That quote and article was only published in May so, what..4-5 months before they announced they were rolling it out nationally in Feb 15?

Incompetent. IDS and the rest of them, all parties, described with one word.

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