WHO CARES? DWP pays 1p Universal Credit for one month income into bank of unemployed zero hours contract worker

21 March 2017

WHO CARES ?? DWP pays 1p Universal Credit for a month's income into bank of unemployed contract worker.

One of my neighbours in Tottenham is in & out of work with an agency including zero hours contracts. That presents a challenge to the Universal Credit computer at the DWP which paid one penny direct into his bank account the last time unemployment hit him.

He was a tenant of a Haringey Council tower block until Tottenham Hotspur started building a new stadium.

The council moved him so they could level his home to replace it with a smart walkway from a brand new White Hart Lane station for the football fans. They called it regeneration - degeneration is more appropriate. 

His rent increased by £20 a week to £115. His council tax demand for 2016/17 was band A but it was moved up to Band B for 2017/18 at £3.14 a week to be paid by his Universal Credit (UC) of £73.10 a week. The tax has increased by 59p a week to pay for adult social care, which he needs from time to time.

These figures look small until you take into account the facts that;

  • UC's £73.10 was tax free before April 2013.
  • It has been reducing in value since 1979.
  • It has not been increased since April 2015 and will not be in April 2017.
  • Meanwhile the cost of goods and services has increased by 4.8% since January 2015.

A big worry are the rent arrears which the council enforces with threats of eviction and were partly created when he had no income due to a three month benefit sanction from which he has recently recovered. It all creates a need for the social care he now has to pay for.