Spring Statement just trapped millions of people in a digital workhouse

A picture of Rishi Sunak and the DWP logo with a Victorian Workhouse to represent his Spring Statement
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Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement just confirmed that most people claiming social security from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are, in his eyes, worthless. Because the chancellor has done nothing for millions of people on so-called benefits. In fact, Sunak has further consigned them to the ‘digital workhouse’: entrenching poverty and misery under the DWP system.

A Spring Statement for the rich

The Spring Statement contained no new measures on social security. The one mention of it was to say what the government did in 2021. Sunak failed to address the fact that around 10 million households are facing at least a £290 real terms cut to their social security. This is on top of things like the benefit cap which has caused persistent child poverty.

Sunak has also done nothing about energy prices for poor people – unless you can afford to install solar panels or heat pumps. So, most households will see a £1,300 increase in their energy bills by October 2022. The Spring Statement did take 5p a litre off fuel duty. But again, that means nothing for the poorest households – 35% of whom have cars versus 93% of the richest ones.

A big announcement of bullshit

Sunak’s main announcement was an increase in the threshold at which people start paying National Insurance. It’s now the same as income tax – so £12,570, an increase of £3k. Overall, this is supposed to mean an average £330 extra in people’s pockets. But again, this is nonsense for the poorest people – among them chronically ill and disabled people who can’t work; unpaid carers; those on Jobseeker’s Allowance, and part-time workers who didn’t meet the National Insurance threshold in the first place.

Moreover, it means little for those who do pay National Insurance but also have to claim Universal Credit. This is because the 55% Universal Credit taper rate at which the DWP cuts your social security payment will swallow much of the £330 back-up anyway.

The digital workhouse expands

All Sunak’s Spring Statement has done is to continue an ideological drive by the Conservatives. As I previously warned in 2018, the Tories designed Universal Credit with a Victorian mindset of the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor:

Sick, disabled, unemployed and low earning people would no longer be different, distinct benefit groups. They would become one, homogeneous ‘underclass’ of people. And… the state would give minimal support to these people. Instead, charities and communities should carry the burden of this workless/underemployed group.

Read on...

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In May 2019, UN rapporteur Philip Alston called Universal Credit a ‘digital workhouse‘. Sunak’s Spring Statement has now cemented that vision. He’s done nothing to support the poorest people amid the worst cost of living crisis in decades. Instead, Sunak has locked millions of low-paid workers, social security claimants, and chronically ill and disabled people into this digital workhouse. Their incomes will continue to fall behind everyone else’s – trapping them in poverty and misery. And sadly, there seems no way out of the digital workhouse on the horizon.

Featured image via Wellcome Images – Wikimedia, cropped to 770×403 under licence CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia and Sky News – YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. https://www.thecanary.co
      Link to post 24.3.2022
      Reply email posted I sent all Govt leader today 24.3.2022
      Spring Statement just trapped millions of people in a digital workhouse (regarding this D.W.P. article here)

      The post below. –Question of the day voters
      Q–How do conservative Brexiteers think Brexit went?
      Are you voting conservative in 2024?
      Plus a few added words to email sent them all.

      1. Part-1
        Question of the day voters
        Q–How do conservative Brexiteers think Brexit went?
        Are you voting conservative in 2024?
        FIRSTLY 2 Main point I will make below
        P-1
        I have never voted for any Tory party member in all my life
        P-2
        I voted Not to join in the firsts voted and to leave in the second vote in Dec 2019 to get Brexit moving I and millions of leave voters like me did not vote for Tory party lying Boris we voted to get Brexit moving just happened Tory was in power this has now been done.
        So, we No longer need a Tory party in power now or after next G.E. That is trashing our country plus the Brexit deals themselves for Tory party Minister personal gains only and that of lying Boris P.M. (their Tory leader)
        Concluding
        Also, now with Sunak new mini dodge news yesterday 23.3.2022
        That fail 95% of British workers plus the poor & low paid workers
        Is mini budget was a total C**p and misleading the public with possible lies has well. – I did see the Tory party M.P. shouting good parses to Sunak in the H.O. Com live and took note of the M.P. NAMES -why well I will be educating them in April 2022 they all get a big pay rise that will cover the cost of their energy bills fully and we low paid worker plus the poor are paying for it a fact!
        Part-2
        Footnote
        To voters that watched the trashing of our way of life by Tory party lying Boris + Sunak yesterday in H.O. Coms and all the M.P. that cheered for Sunak + Boris mini budget that will not affect their way of life because of their new wages increase they all get in April 2022. Therefore, voter come next G.E. and Cllr seat election in May lets show Tory party members in LONDON our disgrace and their arrogance of them Not looking after us voter that voted them into Parliament but supported Sunak + Boris. Misleading plus blatant stich up of British worker plus us voter only yesterday in H.O. Com the path the Tory Govt have taken now will place about 95% of British workers into poverty so do not book any Holidays next years the cash for that holiday you will need to pay your energy bills O.K. All hard-working worker of U.K. thanks to lying Boris signing off on Sunak mini budget in the H.O. Com yesterday 23.3.2022.

    2. To: JOHNSON, Boris; Sturgeon N (Nicola), MSP; Leader’s Office; Contact Keir Starmer
      Subject: TICK -TOCK-TICK-TOCK time as now run out for Boris plus Tory Govt with voters

      Good day –Govt leaders
      –Or should a say a BAD day if your a British worker now
      -Or poor-Or low-paid workers within the U.K. areas -Wales-N-Ireland -Scotland as well
      That Boris & Sunak have backstabbed them all.
      /////
      I send this new posted failing off Tory party members in LONDON to the public way of life

      POSTED today 24.3.2022
      https://www.quora.com/
      LINK to post 24.3.2022
      Question of the day voters
      Q–How do conservative Brexiteers think Brexit went?
      Are you voting conservative in 2024?
      FIRSTLY 2 Main point I will make below
      P-1
      I have never voted for any Tory party member in all my life
      P-2
      I voted Not to join in the firsts voted and to leave in the second vote in Dec 2019 to get Brexit moving I and millions of leave voters like me did not vote for Tory party lying Boris we voted to get Brexit moving just happened Tory was in power this has now been done.
      So, we No longer need a Tory party in power now or after next G.E. That is trashing our country plus the Brexit deals themselves for Tory party Minister personal gains only and that of lying Boris P.M. (their Tory leader)
      Concluding
      Also, now with Sunak new mini dodge news yesterday 23.3.2022
      That fail 95% of British workers plus the poor & low paid workers
      Is mini budget was a total C**p and misleading the public with possible lies has well. – I did see the Tory party M.P. shouting good parses to Sunak in the H.O. Com live and took note of the M.P. NAMES -why well I will be educating them in April 2022 they all get a big pay rise that will cover the cost of their energy bills fully and we low paid worker plus the poor are paying for it a fact!
      Footnote
      To voters that watched the trashing of our way of life by Tory party lying Boris + Sunak yesterday in H.O. Coms and all the M.P. that cheered for Sunak + Boris mini budget that will not affect their way of life because of their new wages increase they all get in April 2022. Therefore, voter come next G.E. and Cllr seat election in May lets show Tory party members in LONDON our disgrace and their arrogance of them Not looking after us voter that voted them into Parliament but supported Sunak + Boris. Misleading plus blatant stich up of British worker plus us voter only yesterday in H.O. Com the path the Tory Govt have taken now will place about 95% of British workers into poverty so do not book any Holidays next years the cash for that holiday you will need to pay your energy bills O.K. All hard-working worker of U.K. thanks to lying Boris signing off on Sunak mini budget in the H.O. Com yesterday 23.3.2022.

    3. Commenters seem to regularly leave out the difficulties faced by people dependent on the state pension for their income. £179.60 x 52 = £9339.2pa – well below the “living” income for those in work. Even if you get pension credit or income support, it’s unlikely to cover a £1000+ hike in your electricity bill. And many people don’t get the full pension to start with. The pension isn’t even keeping up with inflation, as the triple lock isn’t likely to be reinstated regardless of government promiises.

    4. When the “pie” increases in size, a few more crumbs may be dropped, though the wealthy still take 99% of the cream and icing.

      When the pie starts to shrink, the wealthy STILL demand more, which means the poor must be crushed.

      And so must their (rare) champions, like Corbyn.

      We can swap BloJo for Starmertrooper – the man with “My hands are sadly tied” written all over his face even BEFORE he gets elected.

    5. A long time ago, I found a solution to Tory speak.
      Every time they say “economy”, replace the word with “our friends”. I found this was possibly like having sight for the first time. I remember BJ slipped once in Parliament, early in his PM ship, by saying they wanted to do things for their members – (Rather than for the British public). It was the only time I have heard that slip through the net.

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