This month we have seen the stark reality of future issues which has been exacerbated by Covid -19 crisis. This blog is going to be a long non sugar coated one.
We have seen both of main parties reject a citizens income a version of UBI, while others push the idea forward as a panacea to deal with the fallout of Covid 19 and Brexit and an economy that’s in free fall. The gap between rich and poor has never been wider since the great depression.
I would be the first to stick the boot into the Tory government and they have made some serious errors and mismanaged the crisis on a grand scale, but in all fairness we are dealing with an invisible enemy that is wiping out millions of the world’s population and it changes constantly which is not always the governments fault as they try to react accordingly.
Let’s be honest this airborne virus is going no place soon and until we have an effective vaccine millions more will meet their demise prematurely. Meanwhile the present government is trying and failing to manage precious NHS resources in a stage managed scenario to stagger deaths and hospital admission so the NHS doesn’t snap in two. We have NHS staff dying from this Virus alongside patients, many of our elderly and disabled are by far the worst affected groups due to co morbidity issues, and beds and equipment in short supply across the UK and care homes are a breeding ground for those discharged from hospitals having supposedly recovered or enabling the spread.that’s without schools and universities and pubs adding to the mix.
The world economy has crashed as many have lost their jobs plunging them off a financial cliff as government spends a small fortune trying to plug the holes in a sinking vessel of capitalism. The left have become a blunt tool to tackle this crisis; meanwhile we have various other factions on the street protesting about their rights for being enforced into staying home to protect others.
Anti- mask, anti- vax , covid denying eejits are swarming the streets around the country acting as super spreader events, by spreading it to their families and others in their communities because they have been told ‘NO’ (which they are not used to hearing) and a mental health crisis is emerging because they are not used to having wide ranging freedoms curtailed. This really is a matter of life or death for some people and the utter disregard for each other as Thatcher’s Individualism shows its true ugliness of the failure of social responsibility as a society towards others more vulnerable than ourselves.
So let’s get down to the ‘nitty gritty’ of this last month, where we have see huge rises in hate crimes, massive rises in unemployment as businesses go into administration plunging many into the abyss of Universal Credit, Debt, and financial and food insecurity.
Those on the sharp end of the stick of welfare reforms for the last decade know fine well what a cruel and arbitrary system Universal Credit is, but many who have never claimed a penny of state support in their life are about to get the sharpest learning curve of their lives.
Covid has shown some of them via the furlough scheme, grants etc the government put in place what a utter shit show this really is and the government bowed to pressure of giving an extra £20 week to those on furlough while leaving others on Legacy benefits minus the little bit extra yet still expected to meet the demands of their household expenditure, which is still rising as basic costs rise exponentially. Some were unable to claim anything at all, due to either their savings or having a partner still in work, and the self employed cut adrift in many cases with nothing to live off. Their only way of survival is via a food bank or relatives generosity to bail them out until they get money in. This government is oblivious to the many types of hardship that working families are facing and they are all ill prepared post Brexit , post Covid to deal with the consequences . They are used to be able to manage and have a income to meet the family’s needs, unless you are on zero contract low income or in need of state support then sadly you fall into the abyss.
This week the house of lords have launched a scathing report on Universal Credit demanding change and saying it isn’t working, well we could have told you that early 2013 when it was passed into law. Despite many claimants, agencies etc this reform and its multiple problems continue even with the constant changes which left many without vital support and in some cases resulting in deaths of claimants. There have been lots of changes but the administration of this benefit has been a disaster of mammoth proportions, from falsifying assessment reports by the contractors involved, to the 5 week wait, to grants being turned into loans which have to be paid back.
Covid has exposed it’s flaws even further yet millions are being forced to claim it or face destitution. The government currently has 480,000 vacancies for the 3.1 million unemployed and yet still rollout the work and health program and insist work pays.
“As of July 2020, there were as estimated 5.6 million people in UC, around 42 per cent were in the ‘Searching for Work’ conditionality group. 2.4 million new starts had been made on UC between 13 March and 14 May 2020. “
Well it might if you have a job that pays a decent wage, but for many the unemployment rate even by most conservative estimates of 5-7 million will continue to rise as the economy collapses further. Then the Centre of Social Justice this week which is Iain Duncan Smiths project think tank says, ok we know we are failing and must try harder to get people into work so give us 460 million each year for next 5yrs to ensure we can push people into non -existent jobs or onto work and health programs to ensure those who need to get skills and park the many on basically schemes to retrain them at the cheapest cost, which we all know are ‘parking schemes’ who won’t be counted in unemployment figures. This Government has done nothing but spaff billions of taxpayers’ money on various projects which achieve very little by their own admission over the last decade.
‘Universal Support MKII ‘ will be rolled out January if not already which includes changes to Troubled families program ,IPS,IAPT,Social Prescribing, work and health schemes where individuals can get a key worker and a myriad of services which refer individuals via GPs, NHS, and local authorities who pass the buck to third sector contracts to deliver local support on the ground to push you into work.
Guess who they are blaming again …….Yes you for not trying hard enough!
Mind you I’m hearing they are recruiting benefit claimants for the many work coach/advisor vacancies they need to fill , as most of the decent staff are leaving in droves plus many other roles they need to fill so if you are lucky and fit criteria they might give you a job to hound the crap out of others .
The new mantra is Rethink, Reskill, ,Reboot or Jobs Jobs Jobs, Build Britain Back, Resilience bullshit. Boris thinks he Churchill but he will go down in history as King Canute .
Yes I know I have probably got many of you to rather depressed if you wasn’t already, but these are the harsh realities we all have to face in the future if we survive the onslaught of this Virus , Brexit etc the world has changed and there is no going back. We cannot find the solutions until we have stability which is not going to be anytime soon. Many are trying to redesign the system of the welfare state Most if not all will fail, because the government is clear and intent on keeping Universal Credit, and the Work and Health program to ram those unfortunate not to have work or be able to work into abject poverty while blaming them for their circumstances and absolving themselves from failure and responsibility to protect the people of this country who find themselves in a situation they did not create.