If you go on Facebook and search for Universal Credit Survival you will find a community of 100,000 people helping each other to deal with the DWP and the new world of welfare that has arrived with U.C.
There are groups giving excellent, speedy advice on every aspect of UC, transition and the old benefits. Doctors, lawyers journalists, bloggers and ex DWP staff are all there saying the system is flawed, dysfunctional, a hostile environment for the most in need, responsible for suicides, countless family tragedies and increasing poverty.
The Universal Credit Claimants Union is there too. We will give you advice and support, help you make phone calls and connect you with other claimants.
But most of all we, claimants like you and supporters who cannot stand back and let it go on, are dedicated to changing the system for the better, or shutting it down.
Unlike a Facebook group – easy to join, a great place to talk, shout and get help but ultimately powerless – the UCCU gives our voices the solidarity to hold politicians to account, to maintain the pressure and to force implementation. We are growing slowly but steadily and, as soon as we can, we will see the end of this shameful episode in British politics.
We just heard from a union member that their WCA has concluded successfully after they were joined at their appointment by a UCCU Rep. The claimant, who asked not to be named, said: “it’s a reminder that at a WCA you should always get it recorded and bring someone with you.”
The test is not reliable or fair but we will do our best to help you prepare for it.
A brilliant article that captures the situation so many of us are caught in…
Over the last two weeks we’ve regularly been present outside Exeter jobcentre, handing out flyers, discussing peoples’ struggles and supporting claimants as they deal with the DWP. Dave, one of the picketers said:
“It feels great to be out doing something positive, talking to people face to face instead of getting angry online. There’s a real sense of community and trust that comes when people know you’re there because it matters and not because you’re getting paid.”
Members hope the picket will continue to grow and the idea will spread to other jobcentres around the country.
Although details on the crash are currently scarce, it seems possible this is an act of sickening political violence.
If this is the case the blame must be laid in part at the door of the Tory government and far right politicians that have continuously demonised claimants, the disabled and anyone in need over the past 10 years.
Their denial of millions of poor peoples’ reality, language of ‘strivers and shirkers’ and construction of a system of economic victimisation feeds directly into the hatred and violence evidenced by this act.
It has become a regular occurrence to see normally mainstream actors and organisations calling on the government to change its policy on Universal Credit. The only product of these statements seems to be paranoid attacks on the bias of their speakers by the government‘s spokespeople.
This open letter says “We are witnessing an unstoppable movement to end poverty, fight inequality, preserve public services and champion human rights.”
It is only a movement like this that can produce change. If we want to defeat UC we must fight to realise this vision.