Benefits

How Labour should end austerity

Author

Chris Reynolds

Since 2010 austerity has ground down working-class living standards for the benefit of the ultra-rich. Life has been made meaner and more insecure.

Boris Johnson now says he will end austerity. But that is all a matter of previously-budgeted money being “recycled” and called expansion, and random promises to try to win a general election after which he will be free to do his right-wing worst for five years.

Universal Credit workers to strike

Author

Gerry Bates and Rosalind Robson

Universal Credit Service Centre workers in PCS at the Walsall and Wolverhampton offices are the first to ballot for strike action over staffing levels and capacity within the Universal Credit operations in DWP.

Members have long standing grievances with DWP bosses over a horrific lack of staff (their demand is for at least 5000 new staff to cope with the workload), a reduction in the amount of calls per day each worker is expected to handle and an end to the draconian target driven culture in offices.

Universal Credit: still hurting

Author

Luke Hardy

Amber Rudd, the new Tory Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has scrapped the plans to extend the two-child limit on Universal Credit for those with children born before April 2017. She has also postponed the next stage of Universal Credit roll-out, due to hit three million in-work tax-credit claimants within the next few weeks was postponed.

Universal Credit: a positive alternative

Author

Will Sefton

Luke Hardy (Solidarity 488) accuses me of trying to separate out the introduction of Universal Credit (UC) from the cuts to benefit that the Tories have introduced since the coalition government of 2010. In 2015 the government announced £12 billion of welfare cuts, but only a quarter of these were directly related to Universal Credit, and specifically to the in-work allowance, the total amount you could earn before the amount of benefit paid is reduced. The remaining £9 billion exist whether or not UC is scrapped.

Labour and housing markets breed insecurity

Author

Peter Kenway

When the Minimum Wage was introduced, the bottom scale of local government pay was well above it. Now each time the Minimum Wage is increased, a couple of points at the bottom of the local government pay scales have to be removed because they’re now below that Minimum Wage.

Cuts, calamity and councils

Peter Kenway is director of the New Policy Institute, and author of much research on local government. He talked with Martin Thomas.

Philip Alston’s recent report on “social calamity” in the UK focused on cuts in benefits. There have also been huge cuts in local government. What is their impact?

Scrap, not pause, Universal Credit

Author

Luke Hardy

Will Sefton (Solidarity 486) talks of the origin of Universal Credit in separation from the Tories’ benefit cuts. Its intellectual origins are from the same neoliberal place. Universal Credit’s intellectual inspiration is “negative income tax”, an idea promoted by the likes of Milton Friedman as an alternative to the welfare systems developed after World War 2 under the pressure of a militant working class.

Universal Credit: a way forward

Author

By Will Sefton

Luke Hardy argues in Solidarity 482 that the Labour should “stop and scrap” Universal Credit. But that position lacks a positive alternative.

The immediate implications of stop and scrap are to return to the legacy benefits including Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance and Disability benefit — all benefits with their own levels of conditionality, poor levels of payment, and sanctioning, and further complicated by having multiple agencies administer varying benefits.

The spikes of austerity

Author

Matt Cooper

Pay volatility is much greater than has previously been assumed, with the vast majority of workers in stable jobs experiencing significant month-to-month changes in pay.

Low pay comes with spikes.

A recent report by the Resolution Foundation looks at month-to-month changes for workers in stable employment. Previous research has only looked at how workers’ pay varies year-to-year.

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.