It’s beginning to look a lot less like Christmas at the DWP

Bah Humbug hat and the DWP logo
Steve Topple

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) appears to have read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Because its latest policy shift, just in time to ruin millions of people’s Christmases, is straight out of the Scrooge playbook.

DWP: the miser’s touch

Many DWP claimants usually get a £10 Christmas ‘bonus’ from it. You get this if you are in receipt of various benefits, including:

  • Carer’s Allowance.
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • Severe Disablement Allowance.

But this year, people claiming Universal Credit who may have previously got those benefits will be getting a big, fat bonus of nothing from the DWP. Because it doesn’t give it out under its contentious new benefit.

But…! But…!

As i News reported:

The Christmas Bonus is a one-off, tax-free £10 payment made to people on certain benefits in the first week of December. It is designed to help those receiving benefits to cover the extra costs of Christmas…

But the one-off December payment is not made to people on Universal Credit

The DWP told i News:

Universal Credit claimants have never received a one-off December payment, but many disabled people on Universal Credit will be better off on average by £100 month than when they received ESA [Employment and Support Allowance].

That’s not really the point – as people on ESA never got the Christmas bonus anyway. Moreover, Universal Credit is still leaving some disabled people up to £300 a month worse off. So the DWP swiping yet more money from them is just another kick in the teeth.

Scrooging Grinchers

Twitter reacted accordingly to the DWP ‘Grinching’ all over Christmas 2018:

It’s unclear just how much lower the DWP can sink. But it probably can. So watch out in 2019 for it sanctioning claimants for having the audacity to celebrate Christmas at all.

Featured image via Mike Licht – Flickr and UK government – Wikimedia 

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us