Universal Credit is harsh by design and cruel in its intention.
Inside the castle walls there was much eating, drinking and merriment
whilst the poor outside succumbed to starvation.
A National Audit Office (NAO) report revealed that Universal Credit is not value for money and may even cost more than the benefit system it has replaced. More importantly it slammed the failure to respond to the “the hardship faced by claimants” as more and more are driven into destitution by the system.
Whilst UC is sold to the general public as a simplification of the benefits system, it is sold to employers as giving them ‘access to a more flexible and responsive workforce’. Part-time jobs and zero-hours contracts have proliferated in recent years, because they suited employers, but UC seems designed to keep workers in this casual, insecure employment under constant pressure. They will be required to attend a Jobcentre and demonstrate that they are attempting to work more hours or increase their pay, on pain of sanction. So UC is paid monthly in arrears because it wants claimants to behave as if they have a steady and secure income, pressures them to try to increase their earnings, but enables and encourages employers to turn those same workers on and off like a tap.