T the government seems determined to inflict sufferingimmeasurable frances. Ignoring warnings, calls and recommendations from charities, think tanks, opposition parties and six former Conservative welfare secretaries, Rishi Sunak seems determined to remove the weekly £ 20 increase from universal credit. The Chancellor's decision will start hitting people's pockets in three weeks.
Government research indicates " catastrophic ” consequences of the decision reduce by 10% income of around 1 million households. In about 400 circumions, more one third of families with children arewill be concerned. What makes bad policy worse are the spurious lines ministers have taken to try to sell it. The suggestion from Work and Pensions Secretary Therèse Coffey that claimants could work "about two hours of overtime " each week to make up for the loss, came quickly exposed as absurd . The way benefits are calculated for job seekers means that to fix a £ 20 hole in household finances would require a single adult on UC to work an extra day or shift. But the government seems attached to a narrative that falsely describes the work as the virtuous alternative to services.
This post is so blatantly misleading that it is disturbing that anyone who spends time or effort attacking Less than half of job seekers are looking for a job, with 39% are already working (as of December 2020), and an additional 18% are not expected to work because of a disability, or because they are a caregiver or parent of Most of these families are the result of a combination of low wages, a dysfunctional housing allocation system, including a chronic shortage of social housing, long-term underinvestment and a lack of subsidies for daycare .
Evidence suggests thatthe public understands at least part of this. Attitudes have changed since the early 2010s, when conservatives and the right-wing press waged a highly ideological campaign against social benefits and for a greatly reduced state. Now polls show a majority of Tory voters support keep increase .
A U-turn is unlikely. Instead, anti-poverty campaigners hope the distress response to the cuts will force a partial withdrawal, or an increase in the standard allowance (which replaced the base rate of the old benefits) at a later date. As footballer and activist Marcus Rashford has no doubt realized, this is a much harder argument to win than the fight over school meals. While aThe nation seems set to rise behind Mr Rashford last year, amplifying his indignant demand that the government should give elementary students the food they need, the case of a benefit increase inevitably more complex , requiring greater leaps of sympathy and imagination.
The Resolution Foundation says the government is embarking on the biggest night allowance cut into modern history, comparing it to the catastrophic decrease in unemployment assistance during the Great Depression in 1931. Without the increase, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Remarks , UC will not offer a decent standard of living for those going through difficult times. Poverty ruin lives . Those that she doesn't ruin, she makes them hard to appreciate. It is extraordinary and appalling that there are 4.2 million children living in poverty in a country as wealthy as the UK Advocates for some 6 million households who claim UC must sharpen their tools and seek out the voices and stories that will get them through.