The Brutality of the Torys

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bovlomov
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Re: The Brutality of the Torys

Postby bovlomov » 16 Aug 2019, 10:55am

Vorpal wrote: I am not surprised that most DWP workers are conscientious but overworked. I am sure that most of the fault lies in the rules, lack of clarity, and poor direction for those applying the rules. Closing offices and overloading case workers is certainly not going to help. But they get to save loadsa dosh :roll:

Are there incentives for DWP staff who sanction claimants?

thelawnet
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Re: The Brutality of the Torys

Postby thelawnet » 16 Aug 2019, 11:36am

PH wrote:
thelawnet wrote:My understanding of Universal Credit is that it is designed to prevent claimants from being workshy - there are hundreds of thousands or millions on tax credits who refuse to work more than 16 hours (or 24) because they get tax credits , and the extra hours are barely remunerative. Whereas on UC that's no longer an option - instead of taking £4000 from the government for doing nothing at all, you should instead take £5800 from your employer in return for working more hours.

That's what we're told, your source is no more reliable than the ones you criticise. The theory bears little relationship to the low paid sector where short or zero hours contracts are the norm,


No, my source is irrefutable logic as well as observation, as distinct from an anecdote in a newspaper.

The fact is that tax credit withdrawal rates are 41%, plus 12% national insurance, plus 20% income tax, which equals 73%. Therefore if you have worked enough hours to qualify for WTC it makes sense to refuse more hours.

And indeed this is observable in reality - my wife works in a state school kitchen and there are multiple of her colleagues in such a situation - they don't want more work because it is not sufficiently remunerative after benefits are withdrawn. And why would you?

Whether or not short contracts are the norm isn't the point in that the system is changing from 'meet a tax credit hours threshold and then refuse more work' to 'you must work full time if you are able'


the benefits system has never been able to cope with fluctuating incomes and UC doesn't address that, anyone working in the expanding so called gig economy is properly stuffed. It's easy to view tax credit as subsidising lazy employees, but the reality is it's the employers who are being subsidised. How can household names like Asda with profits counted in the hundreds of millions have so many of their employees requiring government handouts to survive?


Well yes, the tax credits system, invented by Labour, does indeed represent a subsidy to employers.

(Although it might be argued that the welfare state is a tax on employers in the first place in that the existence of state benefits means that people need to work fewer hours and there are fewer people wanting to work low paid.jobs.

Why do they chose to employ two people on 20 hour contracts rather than one on 40? Then ask the government, successive ones there's no party point here, why when benefits are set at a level needed to live and people are better off on them than working they only look at one side of the equation?


The Tories have increased the NMW above inflation, and are forcing people on UC to work more hours, whether they want to or not. Hence they are reducing the subsidy to employers

The rate was £6.70 as of 2015 and will be £8.60 next year but there is talk about increasing it more.

Under tax credits a single parent with two children would need to work 16 hours a week.

As of 2015 that would be

£5574.40 wage
nil tax/ni


£8428.68 housing benefit (at £800/month rent)
£1097 council tax support (Woking, band D)
£10075 tax credits
£1736.80 child benefit

total benefits £21137.48

Under Universal Credit, you would need to work 35 hours, hence


£15652 wage

-£1472.80 income tax/NI
£12755 universal credit
£1736.80 child benefit
£0 council tax support

Hence total benefits net of tax £13019.

Obviously it is difficult to quantify the subsidy as not all benefits are conditional on working, but in the second case the net benefits are £7.15/hour based on 35 hours @ £8.60, and in the first case they are £25.41/hour based on 16 hours @ £6.70.

In either case the effective 'subsidy' to employers has been cut by:

* the freeze on tax credit/benefit rates
* above inflation minimum wage rises
* more hours being required under UC

Also note that the first total is £26711.88 for 16 hours,and the second is £28671 for 35. This is about 7.4% more over 5 years, so in reality less money for more work

So Labour introduced a system where they bribed people to work, and the Conservatives are shifting a lot of this burden onto the employer.

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Re: The Brutality of the Torys

Postby PH » 16 Aug 2019, 11:56am

All I can say is your data doesn't reflect those workplaces I've been involved in over the last decade, where hours are used as a tool and bargaining chip to get people to do things they wouldn't otherwise under the threat of having them withdrawn. I currently have a part time position, which for me is a bit of extra money, it's a single 10 hour shift a week, but the contract is minimum 4 hours. Others are working up to 40 hours a week, on a 16 hour contract, it's a big stick, I've seen it used, I've seen the devastating effect it has on peoples lives. I'm going to disagree with anyone who brands those who choose stability for their families as lazy, the system isn't working. I've done some pretty rubbish jobs in my time, in many ways they've suited me, I've always lived cheaply and have spent large chunks of my working life doing other things instead. But even in the worst of workplaces there was always a negotiation, which is largely absent now, the current benefit system is only going to make it worse.

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Re: The Brutality of the Torys

Postby Vorpal » 16 Aug 2019, 12:10pm

thelawnet wrote:The Tories have increased the NMW above inflation, and are forcing people on UC to work more hours, whether they want to or not. Hence they are reducing the subsidy to employers

The rate was £6.70 as of 2015 and will be £8.60 next year but there is talk about increasing it more.

Under tax credits a single parent with two children would need to work 16 hours a week.

As of 2015 that would be

Under Universal Credit, you would need to work 35 hours, hence


Do you think that a single parent with 2 children can feed their kids on that?

The Tories may have increased the NMW above inflation, but that wage is insufficient for anyone, except maybe a teen working their very first job.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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Re: The Brutality of the Torys

Postby PH » 16 Aug 2019, 12:17pm

thelawnet wrote:Under Universal Credit, you would need to work 35 hours, hence

Just to clarify, you don't need to be in employment for 35 hours to be eligible for UC. There is a requirement to try and obtain 35 hours a week of paid employment. but if unable to do so will still get UC. As do the unemployed who are required to spend 35 hours a week job hunting.

thelawnet
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Re: The Brutality of the Torys

Postby thelawnet » 16 Aug 2019, 12:58pm

PH wrote:All I can say is your data doesn't reflect those workplaces I've been involved in over the last decade, where hours are used as a tool and bargaining chip to get people to do things they wouldn't otherwise under the threat of having them withdrawn. I currently have a part time position, which for me is a bit of extra money, it's a single 10 hour shift a week, but the contract is minimum 4 hours. Others are working up to 40 hours a week, on a 16 hour contract, it's a big stick, I've seen it used, I've seen the devastating effect it has on peoples lives.


that's not the benefits system though, it's employers.

I'm going to disagree with anyone who brands those who choose stability for their families as lazy, the system isn't working. .


Who said that? I said that is irrational, aka stupid, to want to work more hours , when so much money is taken away from you. This isn't being lazy, it's responding to the structure of the system in a sensible way.

thelawnet
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Re: The Brutality of the Torys

Postby thelawnet » 16 Aug 2019, 1:06pm

Vorpal wrote:
thelawnet wrote:The Tories have increased the NMW above inflation, and are forcing people on UC to work more hours, whether they want to or not. Hence they are reducing the subsidy to employers

The rate was £6.70 as of 2015 and will be £8.60 next year but there is talk about increasing it more.

Under tax credits a single parent with two children would need to work 16 hours a week.

As of 2015 that would be

Under Universal Credit, you would need to work 35 hours, hence


Do you think that a single parent with 2 children can feed their kids on that?

The Tories may have increased the NMW above inflation, but that wage is insufficient for anyone, except maybe a teen working their very first job.


On what? The single parent with 2 children doesn't feed their kids on NMW because they are entitled to multiple benefits.

As in the example I gave they receive a total of £15.75 per hour worked for 35 hours/week

In my opinion, housing is more of an issue, but that's mostly in the private sector.

It seems to me that with the NMW going up closer to median wage each year, then it will make less and less sense to live in high housing cost areas, because so many jobs are going to end up paying the same, but the housing costs vary hugely.

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Re: The Brutality of the Torys

Postby PH » 16 Aug 2019, 1:32pm

thelawnet wrote:
PH wrote:All I can say is your data doesn't reflect those workplaces I've been involved in over the last decade, where hours are used as a tool and bargaining chip to get people to do things they wouldn't otherwise under the threat of having them withdrawn. I currently have a part time position, which for me is a bit of extra money, it's a single 10 hour shift a week, but the contract is minimum 4 hours. Others are working up to 40 hours a week, on a 16 hour contract, it's a big stick, I've seen it used, I've seen the devastating effect it has on peoples lives.


that's not the benefits system though, it's employers.

Well yes, but who do you think gave them the big stick? And who do you thank has the ability to take it off them?

I'm going to disagree with anyone who brands those who choose stability for their families as lazy, the system isn't working. .


Who said that? I said that is irrational, aka stupid, to want to work more hours , when so much money is taken away from you. This isn't being lazy, it's responding to the structure of the system in a sensible way.


Apologies if I've misinterpreted your choice of the term workshy in a previous post. it indicated to me some degree of endorsement for that point of view.

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Re: The Brutality of the Torys

Postby Vorpal » 16 Aug 2019, 3:31pm

thelawnet wrote:On what? The single parent with 2 children doesn't feed their kids on NMW because they are entitled to multiple benefits.

As in the example I gave they receive a total of £15.75 per hour worked for 35 hours/week

In my opinion, housing is more of an issue, but that's mostly in the private sector.

It seems to me that with the NMW going up closer to median wage each year, then it will make less and less sense to live in high housing cost areas, because so many jobs are going to end up paying the same, but the housing costs vary hugely.

Sorry if I wasn't clear. I meant on either (benefits included).

Assuming the parent and two children live together in a not-too-expensive town in a small flat or maisonette, rent, utilities, and food will still use most of the total income. By the time transport comes out, there is little for clothing and household goods, and nothing for child care or any luxuries.

I have a friend who lives in such circumstances. She has a job in retail, and also works part time for a family member. She has a council house,and some benefits. And her kids are old enough, now not to need child care. But she used to spend a lot of her 'free' time getting things from various places (e.g. car boot sales) and selling it on ebay just to make ends meet.

I guess that she probably effectively worked 70 hours per week, even though only half of those were in a proper job. It's better now that her kids are older and she is working part time for her family member, but she still has to work more than full time just to cover the basics. I also know a couple of other single mums who've shared houses and pooled resources for some years because it meant they could get better living circumstances for both families on their wages/benefits. They lived in small villages, where housing costs were lower, but of course that also meant they had higher transport costs. I haven't been in touch since we moved away to know how they are faring under UC.

When Mr. V was working in a relatively low paid job, the cost of child care, transport, work uniforms and shoes, etc. all added up to it was hardly worth him working.

I'm not suggesting that someone on benefits should have a life of luxury. Only that the basic wage should be enough that folks can manage and not need benefits. Or at least not need benefits that other folks don't get, like child benefit. The system also needs to incentivise people to work, and reward them for contributing.

Taking benefits away from someone who is barely making ends meet is just horrid. There are very few circumstances I can think of that justify that. Someone who persistently fails to turn up for appointments probably needs counselling, rather sanctioning. Even if someone is actually lazy and wants to milk the system, their children should not have to go hungry as a result of sanctions.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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Re: The Brutality of the Torys

Postby PH » 16 Aug 2019, 4:49pm

I've just looked up the Local Housing Allowance that replaced Housing benefit as part of the benefits shakeup. You get a fixed amount based on their criteria regardless of how much you're paying. For me in Derby that works out a £367 a month, that's a joke, you won't find anywhere habitable for that, you'd be lucky to find a room is a shared house in the poor end of town. So out of your subsistence benefits you're also expected to top up your rent.

thelawnet
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Re: The Brutality of the Torys

Postby thelawnet » 16 Aug 2019, 5:09pm

PH wrote:I've just looked up the Local Housing Allowance that replaced Housing benefit as part of the benefits shakeup. You get a fixed amount based on their criteria regardless of how much you're paying. For me in Derby that works out a £367 a month, that's a joke, you won't find anywhere habitable for that, you'd be lucky to find a room is a shared house in the poor end of town. So out of your subsistence benefits you're also expected to top up your rent.


this is not correct. The LHA was introduced by Labour in 2008.

Universal Credit doesn't change the LHA at all.

The LHA rate is the 30th percentile rate for the given property type.

https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/ListofRen ... BrmaId=122

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... t-of-rents

mercalia
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Re: The Brutality of the Torys

Postby mercalia » 16 Aug 2019, 5:51pm

thelawnet wrote:
PH wrote:I've just looked up the Local Housing Allowance that replaced Housing benefit as part of the benefits shakeup. You get a fixed amount based on their criteria regardless of how much you're paying. For me in Derby that works out a £367 a month, that's a joke, you won't find anywhere habitable for that, you'd be lucky to find a room is a shared house in the poor end of town. So out of your subsistence benefits you're also expected to top up your rent.


this is not correct. The LHA was introduced by Labour in 2008.

Universal Credit doesn't change the LHA at all.

The LHA rate is the 30th percentile rate for the given property type.

https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/ListofRen ... BrmaId=122

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... t-of-rents


Maybe but your friend Osborne put a limit on how much you can get - has been frozen now for how many years? whereas rents have gone up.

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Re: The Brutality of the Torys

Postby PH » 16 Aug 2019, 6:01pm

thelawnet wrote:
PH wrote:I've just looked up the Local Housing Allowance that replaced Housing benefit as part of the benefits shakeup. You get a fixed amount based on their criteria regardless of how much you're paying. For me in Derby that works out a £367 a month, that's a joke, you won't find anywhere habitable for that, you'd be lucky to find a room is a shared house in the poor end of town. So out of your subsistence benefits you're also expected to top up your rent.


this is not correct. The LHA was introduced by Labour in 2008.

Which part isn't correct? The figures match those you've posted, I don't care who introduced it (See previous comments about successive governments) and I'm very aware how long this process has been going on. It's pointless to base it on some average if there are no properties available at those prices, just look at the graph in your first link for one bedroom, see how steeply it goes from £60 - £80, there's a clue there. Go look on the estate agents websites, the realistic cost of a one bedroom property is closer to £450 than £367. But people don't choose where they live based on the possibility that they might at some point in the future find themselves on benefits.

thelawnet
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Re: The Brutality of the Torys

Postby thelawnet » 16 Aug 2019, 7:00pm

mercalia wrote:
thelawnet wrote:
PH wrote:I've just looked up the Local Housing Allowance that replaced Housing benefit as part of the benefits shakeup. You get a fixed amount based on their criteria regardless of how much you're paying. For me in Derby that works out a £367 a month, that's a joke, you won't find anywhere habitable for that, you'd be lucky to find a room is a shared house in the poor end of town. So out of your subsistence benefits you're also expected to top up your rent.


this is not correct. The LHA was introduced by Labour in 2008.

Universal Credit doesn't change the LHA at all.

The LHA rate is the 30th percentile rate for the given property type.

https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/ListofRen ... BrmaId=122

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... t-of-rents


Maybe but your friend Osborne put a limit on how much you can get - has been frozen now for how many years? whereas rents have gone up.


Changes as follows:

2008 - median rent, tenants can keep any excess - more expensive per tenant than previous Housing Benefit rules
2011 - 30th percentile, tenants can no longer keep excess, nationwide caps (affecting most expensive areas)
2012 - shared rate extended from single under 25s to single under 35s
2013 - rates frozen
2014 - rates increased by 1%, or 4% in the 126 (of 960) rates most divergent from the 30th percentile
2015 - rates increased by 1%, or 4% (in 163 of 760 areas in England)
2016 - rates frozen
2017 - rates frozen
2018 - rates frozen, or increased by 3% in 203 of 760 most divergent areas in England
2019 - ditto

Certain areas have had big rent increases; e.g., the 30th percentile 3 bedroom rate in Northampton apparently rose 10% last year, meaning a big shortfall.

It is not clear that the LHA rates (supposed to put a downward pressure on rents) are having the supposed effect - you have to get far away from London, to say, Exeter, to find a LHA still close to 30% percentile (respectively 80% for bedsit, 95% for 1 bed, 97% for 2 bed, 94% for 3 bed, and 96% for 4 bed)

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Re: The Brutality of the Torys

Postby reohn2 » 16 Aug 2019, 7:02pm

If anyone thinks the Tories aren't brutal with a capital BRUTE,they only need look at their track record and how they look after their financiers before anyone.
The country's gone to the dogs and the Tories are the orcastraters of that downfall,.
They're quite simply a disgrace.
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