The David Cameron UK Government plc are reforming the welfare state in a manner that it has never seen before in its entire seventy year history. The various benefits systems by various organizations will be consolidated into a single scheme of means testing and payment called Universal Credit. This will be operated under the Department of Work and Pensions. Its supporters claim that UC will be simpler and fairer and remove the common situation in which people have to remain unemployed because they will lose money by getting a job through its resulting benefit cuts. It’s even been compared to Basic Income, very erroneously. Basic Income involves no means testing at all and everybody gets paid the same rate regardless of their circumstances, see: http://hpanwo.blogspot.co.uk/2008/05/basic-income.html. Because the system is so revolutionary it’s taking a long time to implement it, in fact the government estimate that the process won’t be complete until at least 2018. All the offices that currently issue housing benefit, working tax credit, child benefit and several others which are organized separately and locally, will be closed down and the Job Centre Plus will deal with everything. This means that everybody in the country who currently receives benefits will need to start from scratch. They’ll have to apply as a new claimant, and for the first time ever all people will have to register online. They’ll have to undergo “one or more” interviews at the Job Centre in order to assess their claim and they might find they’re in a very different situation as they were under the old system. The biggest difference between UC and the old system is that for the first time unemployed claimants will be not be separated from employed claimants. At the moment anybody who is unemployed has to attend the Job Centre at regular intervals and prove they are proactively looking for work in order to claim Income Support and Jobseekers’ Allowance. They often have to undergo “work experience placements”; and I’ve written about that before a lot, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/cameron-pushes-workfare.html.
On the other hand, employed people who claim benefits are generally left alone; I myself used to get Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Child Tax Credit. To apply for these all I had to do was take a handful of my payslips to the local government offices and fill out a form. Once I’d done that I received the payments for a whole year and there were no other conditions except that I had to sign and return a status update form annually. If Universal Credit had been introduced back then my experience would have been very different. I would have had to visit the Job Centre and be assessed in the very same way unemployed people are, even though I was employed full time in the Hospital Portering Service. If my income were too low because of a generally low rate of pay or that I wasn’t working enough hours I might be told to look for another job otherwise my UC would be “sanctioned”. It makes no difference if this were through no fault of my own. To be realistic, as a porter on full time hours anyway it wouldn’t have been a problem for me because I had a contract for thirty-seven hours a week on a top increment NHS Band 1 hourly rate which is several pounds above the minimum wage. How many people are lucky enough to enjoy conditions like that nowadays? Today millions of people work for the minimum wage on zero-hour contracts; this means that they’re paid as little as possible and their employer can give them as little work as they like. Many hundreds of thousands of people don’t even have a proper job and work for employment agencies which shuffles them from one temporary post to another. This situation would have been unthinkable twenty years ago yet today nobody thinks twice about it. Somebody in those circumstances would have to be a regular visitor at the Job Centre and could have their UC sanctioned in the same way an unemployed person could. They will be subjected to the same “robust interviews” as the unemployed. Those fortunate few on proper contracts might be forced to quit jobs they love for ones they hate just to keep their UC payments coming. Also the employment service in this country is riven with corruption and millions more will be exposed to that; I’ve talked about this issue many times, for example see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/jobcentre-minus.html. The UC system will result in vast increase in state surveillance; people will have their privacy constantly invaded and every aspect of their lives will be scrutinized by official snoopers. The method to achieve this is already planned in the “Universal Jobmatch” system, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m7w00XQCPc. There’s no doubt claimants will be asked to produce ID and as time goes on the system will solidify into a fully-fledged database state, probably involving electronic ID, fingerprinting and even microchip implants, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/swedish-office-microchips-staff.html. Sadly there’s a lot of public support for this new system because of the “lazy scroungers” mythology that has always been promoted since the dawn of the welfare state. In recent years this kind of propaganda has got a lot worse. As Universal Credit began its long roll out, multiple programmes appeared on TV smearing people on benefits, for example see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/on-benefits-and-proud.html. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. The ultimate objective is to introduce a system of total resource-based economic control, a very extreme form of communism. A day will come when people will be born and have a tattoo branded on them that dictates what jobs they do, how much food and water they are allowed and how many carbon credits they’re entitled to; and even how long they’ll be allowed to live… unless we put a stop to it.
See here for background: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/tory-boy-wants-more-slaves.html.