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Stephen Crabb has today confirmed his commitment to rolling out universal credit, dashing the hopes of activists who believed that a new secretary of state might have the courage to ditch the disastrously over budget and under-performing benefit.

In a speech that had been billed as setting out Crabb’s vision for the future, there was very little in the way of detail and a huge amount of sentiment and platitudes.

Standing in front of a Capita logo, Crabb spoke of his commitment to seeing UC rolled out nationally and explained that he believes it changes claimants’ behaviour:

“And to those who are sceptical of Universal Credit, I just say this: ‘look at the evidence so far’. When you compare those who are already receiving Universal Credit to a similar cohort receiving previous Jobseeker’s Allowance, you will see people on Universal Credit:

are spending roughly 50% more time looking for work

they are 8 percentage points more likely to be in work

and when they are in work, they’re more likely to be earning a higher wage”

There was no mention of the bedroom tax and absolutely no hint of reversing the cuts to employment and support allowance.

Instead, there was a huge emphasis on getting sick and disabled people into work:

“And that, finally, brings me to an area of reform that is another one of my priorities:

“And that is supporting disabled people and people with health conditions into work.”

Crabb went on to explain that:

“We need to recognise the role that work plays in supporting good health. And importantly, that a health condition or disability needn’t be a barrier to work.

“To do that, the workplace, the welfare system, the health service will all need to work much better together….to help people stay healthy in the first place. If someone gets sick, they need the right support so they can stay close to the world of work and re-join it as quickly as possible.

“It’s already clear to me that there are lots of interesting ideas emerging. I look forward, with my ministerial team, to listening to all of the ideas and views and discussing them with disability groups, employers and the health, care and welfare sectors.”

What those ‘interesting ideas’ might be we don’t know as yet. But there are probably very few claimants who think that they will turn out to be good news.

Sadly, it looks very much like it will be a case of ‘business as usual’ for the DWP under Stephen Crabb.

You can read Crabb’s whole speech here.


+1 #6 Crazydiamond 2016-04-21 10:06
Having spent ten years working for the DSS (as it was then), I can categorically state that Universal Credit will NEVER work.

It is virtually impossible to roll six benefits into one, which will ultimately result in an administrative nightmare. Given that it takes DWP staff at least five years to become competent with a single benefit, how they are supposed to deal with the rules and regulations of six benefits/tax credits is beyond me. This is particularly pertinent, because it would appear that staff training for UC is to all intents and purposes non-existent.

Unfortunately, it will be the claimants who will suffer the backwash and will be responsible for any mistakes even if it wasn't their fault, which could result in large official error overpayments having to be paid back leaving them destitute.
+1 #5 carruthers 2016-04-18 16:52
Quoting Just Me:
I see some of that as the preamble towards implementing that Tory Think Tanks proposals, and that is to do away with the support group and have one flat payment for any sickness related benefit

No, one payment level for any unemployment payment. At first they will acknowledge that a few people need special treatment (not expecting the terminally ill or the severely autistic to work), but ultimately the aim must be to abolish long-term sickness and disability as reasons for not working altogether.

Just look at the rhetoric, "sickness isn't a barrier to work" and "work is good for your health." Then you say that any of the extra costs of sickness and disability are dealt with by PIP and you need give those unemployed because their minds and bodies any extra ESA at all.

And after that, you can start treating them just as you treat those on JSA - sanctions for not spending an hour a day revising your CV.

Of course "the right sort of people" will have taken out private sickness and disability insurance - and good luck with getting payments out of Unum!
+7 #4 lesley 2016-04-14 17:30
"I wanted to change the world, but I couldn't find a babysitter."
Doesn't Stephen Crapp oops, I mean Crabb, realise that every mother is a 'working mother'. I would like to add, that for anyone with a disability it's a full time job just looking after oneself. I feel so incensed when I read his pompous, patronizing and arrogant words.
+6 #3 Just Me 2016-04-14 14:27
I see some of that as the preamble towards implementing that Tory Think Tanks proposals, and that is to do away with the support group and have one flat payment for any sickness related benefit except PIP, which i fully expect to be made even harder to apply for.

I expect nothing but grim news come the Autumn budget sadly. :(
+5 #2 angela 2016-04-14 09:12
As i said when he got the job not to hold out any hope things would get any better cant do under this goverment
+7 #1 GoingOffMyHeadWithThisGovernment 2016-04-13 22:46
Never ceases to amaze me how this pompous crap never changes, how the hell can Disabled people work with degenerate conditions that will never get better and ever work.

Crabb' s move forward, move sideways, move backwards, then in for the kill..? A...hole.

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