Theresa May Warned over Effects of Housing Benefit Cuts

Theresa may has only recently been made Britain’s second ever female Primeminister. Walking into David Cameron’s shoes, she is faced with the rising problem that homelessness that has been sweeping over Britain. Some may see this as a result of the ‘harsh’ cuts implemented by the Torys during David Cameron’s time in office. Being faced with the prospect of homelessness has had an extremely negative impact on British citizens, particularly those most vulnerable. Pressure has been mounting for Theresa May to begin resolving what can be known as a homelessness crisis in the UK, but how will she deal with something that has gotten so out of hand? And will she continue to make further cuts?housing benefit cuts

Now that Britain has left the EU, they have a job as a standalone country to maintain their international reputation. Failure to stop making further cuts to housing benefit, or to scrap the ones that are already in place risks damaging the international reputation Britain already has. The cuts that have been discussed will hit the most vulnerable people the hardest including veterans and the disabled and labour has stressed the importance in making sure the cuts that are already planned and in place, do not continue to go ahead. Many people rely on the housing funding scheme to keep their homes, and cuts could mean that even more people are on the streets of Britain, unable to afford shelter. There are all manner of people relying on the government for the safety of a home and Theresa May has been warned that by cutting allowances, she will be increasing the risk of the safety of those fleeing from domestic violence, as well as jeopardising the well-being of  the mentally ill and the disabled. Many labour ministers are calling for Theresa May to completely reverse the changes and cuts that have previously been announced. Earlier in the year it was announced that the supported housing sector was to be exempt for one year for a planned rent reduction of 1%. Due to calls of unfairness and potential major damage being caused, Theresa May’s new government have agreed to review the proposed plans, taking into consideration their potential impact.

Shadow communities secretary Grahame Morris has expressed his concerns by saying that rather than just amending cuts, the government needs to stop all the cuts to housing benefit that are going to have devastating effects. Although during meetings Theresa May has agreed to delay the implementation of the caps, but Mr Morris thinks it is important that the idea is forgotten altogether, and totally reverse the decision. Questioning where the compassion lies, Mr Morris asked how government could possibly abandon the most vulnerable in society, and what will this say about the priorities of the government, when there are other, deeper issues going on in the UK? Whilst housing support may be costing the country money, it is known as a mark of a decent and civilised society, in particular to keep the covenant we have with veterans that once upon a time contributed so much to our country. Mr Morris has been keen to show Theresa May and her government that the cuts show a lack of compassion to those that actually deserve it. Morris reminded Theresa May of her speech on the steps of number 10 after her appointment, when she said that she strives for a country that works for everybody. However, May does indeed face pressure from both sides, with the Conservatives on the inside ignoring calls to slash the cuts and continuing with them. Once labelled the ‘nasty party’ by Theresa May herself, are the conservatives slowly but surely changing the new Primeminister’s opinions?

Despite fears of looming changes, if any caps were to go ahead they wouldn’t take effect until April 2018, which also leaves time for a decision to be overturned. Labour’s main concern is the security of those that may be left without homes after a housing benefit cut and therefore they are really fighting for a change.

FURTHER delays to Universal Credit

Ahh Universal Credit, the two elusive words filled with such promise, yet, (at the moment) delivering so little. Notorious for its constant delays, we are sorry to report that the Universal Credit switch has been pushed back even further as ministers announced even more delays just yesterday. The switch has already started to take place, but an at an extremely slow rate, with many people still subject to the old system. The full roll out is now not expected to take place until March 2022, this will mean the new date will be an extension of a year from the previous date in place and no less than eleven years since the switch was originally announced. Many people want to know why. job centre issues universal credit

What is it?

Universal Credit, which was originally set to be scheduled in 2017, is the government’s aim to roll what is currently six different types of benefits into one, so claimants will receive one monthly payment of whatever they are entitled to. You are entitled to Universal Credit if you are either on a low-income or out of work completely. If you receive benefits such as Job-Seeker’s Allowance or Child Tax Credits then if you haven’t already, you will be switched over to receiving Universal Credits sometime in the near future (we hope). Rather than weekly payments, the new system will act like a salary, being paid into the recipient’s bank account. Rather than switching those over that are used to receiving a weekly payment of various different benefits, Universal Credit has been focusing on those that are newly unemployed and new to receiving benefits. Universal Credit will also replace Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit. There are many reasons that the government has chosen to (slowly) transition over to Universal Credit, one being that it generally makes more sense. Many different payments can become complicated and confusing and whilst Universal Credit is causing slight chaos at the moment, once the switch is complete, things will be simpler.

Universal credit is also designed to help with rent payments, the money will be calculated for you and included in your monthly payment where you will then be required to pay the landlord directly, helping to prevent missed payments and evictions. Anybody that lives with a partner who is also eligible will receive one big monthly payment, where you can manage it accordingly. By visiting one of the many sites online you can get an estimate of how much Universal Credit you are eligible for and how it differs from what you are currently receiving. You can make your claim via the universal Credit website.

waiting for universal creditWhy is it taking so long?

With so many people in the UK receiving financial support, there is an awful lot of work to do to ensure the turnover is a success. Combine millions of people, all with different details, with complicated computer systems and you may just be able to get an understanding of the sheer scale of the multi-billion pound project. This has not stopped an unimpressed cabinet questioning ministers on why the switch is taking so long, with people unsure on how much monthly money they are entitled to receive and when they will begin receiving it. Recently, a ministerial statement has revealed a revised schedule of the proceedings, which is in conjunction with the changes made to the 2015 summer budget, which included the controversial move of only allowing child tax credits for the first two children of a family. As it stands, Universal Credit has 279, 000 claimants. Despite MP’s accusing that the project could have been completed quicker, permanent DWP secretary Robert Devereux has claimed that the switch is complex and probably the biggest project the DWP has undertaken. Another movement delaying procedures was the emergency brake that was going to be put into place on the benefits that migrants were receiving. This was part of David Cameron’s EU negotiations and since the UK has now opted to leave the EU, these are no longer in place. The government has also been urged to tweak the programme through concerns that it is going to fare hard on low-income and unemployed families. The pressure to ensure that the system fits with today’s climate is also delaying the process.

When it eventually happens, there are many in favour for Universal credit, supporting those that need it at an affordable cost for the tax payer. The constant tweaks that are ongoing to the system are all in the name of improvements so as not to disappoint people further after many cuts introduced by ex-chancellor George Osbourne. With a complete cabinet overhaul it could also be possible that proceedings were affected by not only complex IT systems but also management failings. Will the development now stay on track and will the 6m people in need of Universal Credit, have it by 2022?