Friday, 1 December 2017

Job Centre Closures and Universal Credit

Subject: Job Centre Closures and Universal Credit

Hi Comrades and Friends 

Hope you have just picked up forwarded email from article in the local Guardian report. It's good they picked up our last-minute press release and used some of the information - but unfortunately failed to include the date of the demo outside IDS office. I will do another press release next Monday as a follow up.

WFTC has managed to pull together some activities around Universal Credit and closure threats to local Job Centres in conjunction with PCS, Unite Community, and Stand Up for Your Rights.

It's Saturday 2nd December.

11.30am demo at office of Iain Duncan Smith MP at 64 Station road E4 7BA
SUFYR  WFTC Unite Community PCS and anyone else who wishes to join in
1pm at The Mount
Unite Community will be joined by the disabled campaigners in DPAC,  PCS, WFTC,and anyone else who wants to join in.

Bring banners, placards and any handouts to both events. Let's do a right rumpus.

Hope you can join in for both events, or come along for part.

There has been a rising tide of protest to stop the roll out of Universal Credit due to the problems experienced by very poor families caused by having to wait without a penny of welfare support for up to six weeks! Trade unions, Jeremy Corbyn and all kinds of religious and charity organisations have been up in arms. Families were having to resort to foodbanks, and some were even evicted by landlords who wouldn't wait for the rent. The roll-out in W Forest starts in Walthamstow in February 2018.

IDS was the architect of the scheme on behalf of this government-for-the-millionaires (and himself a very well-heeled member). It is now overseen by a less familiar minister William Gauke. We feel IDS as an MP in our area has a lot to answer for. Added to this is the closure threat to Leytonstone Job Centre where PCS workers are putting up a vigorous fight. SUFYR and Unite Community have been campaigning amongst claimants.

In the budget Hammond has carried out a nod in recognition of hardship BUT IT IS NOWHERE NEAR ENOUGH.

1. None of the changes kick in before Christmas. So many kids and poor workers are going to have a miserable struggle over the festive season while IDS lives it up in his Tudor mansion.

2. The extra £1.5 billion is spread over the next 6 years - so do the maths.

3.Households are able (strictly speaking but difficult in practice) to access a full month's advance now within 5 days of applying instead of 2 weeks. However this is only a LOAN and has to be re-paid. Hammond is kindly(!) allowing re-payment over 12 months instead of the previous 6 months. So generous!

And don't forget that in 2015 chancellor George Osborne announced £3.5 billion cuts a year!

So now his fellow toff is restoring around only one third of the money!

Meanwhile, if claimants do manage to return to work,  the minimum wage has been upped by a handsome 33p - so that's worth it -  NOT!

Hope you can join us on December 2nd.


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