Monday 18 November 2013

Unitended Policy Consequences #DWP #ESA

Lets face it, the DWP have made some dumb ass decisions of late and have more unintended policy consequences than I've had hot dinners. The latest is a corker and the only people benefiting from it I expect will be payday lenders.

If you were on sickness benefits and managed to get back to work, you could get £40 a week for 52 weeks as a little sweetener and it would help tide you over til payday. Ended 1st October 2013

Everyone going back to work could also get a £100 job grant for things like bus fairs etc, things that cost money while you wait for pay day. Appears to have been discontinued

** more if you were a couple I think 

In their wisdom the government decided to do away with both these things - falling back on the deluded position that there is other help available.

Working Tax Credits - yay but only if you are over 25 or have children. If your are like my Son, who is 20 and living with family, you get nothing.

You can get working tax credit if under 25 but only if you get DLA (or PIP)

4 weeks run on for housing and council tax benefit - but if like my son you live with family you get nothing.

Final money on ESA - I thought benefits were paid 1 week behind and 1 in front so he would get money on Wednesday but no it stops as of today.

So my son is finally well enough to go get a job. He really wants a job and has accepted a 20 hour a week job at minimum wage = £110 a week for 20 hours at £5.55 a hour, hardly loads.

He has to wait four weeks for his wages, his mobile phone bill etc go out on Wednesday. He lives with his granny who is a pensioner and cannot afford to keep him on fresh air so his bed and board at £80 needs paying. He has to get to work and all of this adds up. If he didn't have us, and we aren't exactly flush it's the wrong end of the month meaning we will go overdrawn to cover him, where would he go for help????

The only option I can see is a pay day lender, crisis loans are almost impossible to get, a budgeting loan is still a debt and his work programme provider, a disability charity by the way, are now happy to wash their hands of him except for the odd phone call. They actually told him about the back to work credit that ended on the 1st October.

I find it stunning that they didn't know and while I'm on a bit of a rant about them, it would have been nice if they had told him its actually a Christmas only job for six weeks and he only has a slight chance of being taken on permanently..setting him up to fail maybe.
I dread it if he is let go after Christmas, knowing he will have no option but to claim JSA and we could end up back where he was 12 months ago - on the verge of a nervous breakdown with his MH in tatters..

So all in all how is this encouraging people back to work when you pull the financial rug from under them immediately - leaving them destitute because that's what having no access to finances means.
Of all the stupid policy decisions this ranks well up there as a corker.

Please share because i bet like me, you might be more than a little surprised...


  1. It is ridiculous.
    Are there any credit unions in your area?
    They have more affordable loans.
    I just cannot understand how our country ended up like this, making it so difficult to move from benefit to work without ending up with no income?!

    1. I know Julia, He will be fine we will cover his expenses this month. they arnt too high, but what if we had no money ourselves. Its so short sighted


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