I have been asked why I've been telling the world we face dark times in the wake of the national roll-out of Universal Credit, and why We Shall Overcome will beneeded more than ever in 2018.
Well, put simply, a crisis is coming; not just for the unemployed, but for those in part-time work, on Zero Hours contracts, or in jobs with low pay.
Universal Credit replaces not just the standard benefits associated with being out of work, but Child Tax Credit and Working Family Tax Credit too, so claimants of these vital top-ups to poverty wages will find themselves jumping through the same hoops and facing the same sanctions as those out of work.
In short, the government's strategy is two-fold:
1. To make it so difficult for people in work to claim without being sanctioned that they give up.
2. To make life even harder and even more difficult to bear if you are unemployed.
Universal Credit will incorporate Housing Benefit and the claimant will now be expected to pay the landlord themselves, which, when sanctions remove the ability to pay, will cause a crisis in homelessness like never before.
The DWP are incentivised to sanction. They are being statistically-driven to cut payments, and this will now be extended from the unemployed to those in low paid work.
Universal Credit is an act of class warfare.
It is social engineering at best, social cleansing at worst.
A crisis is coming, and there is little point in treating the symptoms without fighting the disease.