In the past year, we've helped 1500 benefit claimants deal with countless problems involving the DWP and local councils. From this first hand experience, and over 20 years spent working in welfare rights at BUCFP. Here are our top 10 cuts to UK benefits that need reversing now!
Benefits freeze to end. For all working age benefits, including Housing Benefit. And at least a return to inflation based increases every year.
UC work allowances and taper rate. A return to work allowances as they were originally intended, and not just for those with children and those whose disabilities limit their ability to work. A taper rate of 50% as was originally intended
2 child limit. Removal of the 2 child limit, in UC and child tax credits. We feel the following statement is completely out of touch with a compassionate welfare state: "The Department for Work and Pensions and HMRC will develop protections for women who have a third child as the result of rape, or other exceptional circumstances." - 2015 summer budget.
Reinstating an additional benefit amount for people with limited capability for work (those assessed as being able to prepare for a return to work). This cut needs reversing urgently, to restore fairness and decency for sick and disabled people.
Abolish the benefit cap. The new lower benefit cap has resulted in families splitting up, and use of temporary accommodation rising while those unable to be exempt, are made homeless from private rental properties. For families with children in the South East of England, the benefit cap means there is no safety net.
Pay childcare costs upfront, rather than expecting people to pay out of their UC and claim it back at the end of the month
Abolish sanctions. The Universal Credit sanctions regime has been described by the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights as "draconian", "harsh and arbitrary". (reference: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Poverty/EOM_GB_16Nov2018.pdf)
Abolish the Minimum Income Floor for self-employed people and treat their earnings the same as those of employed workers
Limit the amount of deduction for overpayments and debts to an affordable amount (deductions of 40% of personal allowance are leaving people in hardship)
Restore full funding for Council Tax reduction, so that local councils can return to giving reductions of up to 100% for those on the lowest incomes.