The DWP used Brexit to sneak out another benefit cut

The DWP logo the Union Jack and the EU flag
Steve Topple

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has appeared to use Brexit as cover to ‘sneak’ out details of a benefit cut. And for the people affected, the potential £7,000 loss is a big deal.

The DWP: a good day to bury bad news

As Alex Tiffin wrote on the Universal Credit Sufferer website, DWP parliamentary under-secretary Guy Opperman put out a written statement on Monday 14 January. It was to do with Pension Credits. Currently, the DWP tops up people’s pensions if they’re on a low income. But the Tory-led coalition government changed this in principle in 2012. It was part of the Welfare Reform Act. Now, if one member of a couple is below state pension age, then the older person will no longer be entitled to Pension Credits. This is unless one of them claims Housing Benefit.

The announcement the DWP buried with Brexit gives the date the change will finally come into force. As Opperman noted:

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I set out to Parliament last year that this change would be implemented once Universal Credit was available nationally for new claims. Today I can confirm that this change will be introduced from 15th May 2019.

Blogger Gareth Morgan originally spotted the move. But as the Financial Times noted, some couples could be over £7,000 a year worse off.

Social media says…

Tiffin said he thought the DWP ‘hoped nobody would notice’:

People on Twitter were not happy. Bob Miller said it would affect him:

Lou made a good point:

“The Tories have no soul”

Tiffin told The Canary:

The DWP has already shown it can’t cope with an increased workload and now it wants to add pensioners to the mix. It’s ridiculous. My parents will be directly affected by this move. My severely disabled mother will now face a Work Capability Assessment. Add to the fact she’s a WASPI woman, and it’s a double blow.

Over £7,000 per year less is a major income drop for anyone. The Tories have no soul. Nobody is safe anymore.

A new group of claimants?

As Age UK said of the change:

The older partner could be financially better off living alone.

In 2016, up to 3.4 million claimants were enitled to the benefit. So the impact of this could be wide-reaching – as the younger person in a couple could be forced to find work.

Also, as Tiffin noted, it puts women who have seen their retirement age pushed back by the government, so-called WASPI women, in an even worse position.

These women should have been able to retire by now. But due to government changes, they don’t get their pensions yet. So with the loss of Pension Credits, these women may have to claim Universal Credit. This could mean they will possibly be subjected to the sanctions regime. In other words, the DWP is potentially creating a whole new group of claimants that it can force to look for work.

But maybe this was the government’s plan all along. Because it looks like another easy way for it to save money. Also, it may massage the employment figures. No wonder then that it tried to sneak out the announcement under the cover of Brexit.

Featured image via pxhere and UK government – Wikimedia 

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  • Show Comments
    1. look voter we must start on Labour
      holding a new G.E. in 2019 to put a stop to the
      Tory Govt SCAM U-Created they are running now
      that is killing people plus making low paid worker fall into,
      Mass poverty as the Big firm do not pay the right wages now.
      //
      The wages this incompetent Tory Govt put in place plus law
      but for the big firms funding cash the Tory Govt they turn,
      a blind eye to them not paying the right wages to us employees
      //
      So Mr. Corbyn help us resident + voters out hold a new G.E. in 2019.
      then when we get shut of Tory Govt SCRAP the U-Credit scam
      or at least make it right for us all to benefit now and stop the withholding of rightful payment the Tory D.W.P. Minister Ms RUDD is doing now to claimants
      unlawfully by the way (she keep losing her court cases every day now)
      so increase our taxpayer cash outlay on benefit payment.
      Million of pound a day over spending now more than Labour spent in all time they were in Offices for 10 + years .
      ///
      In addition stop the new cut made up by Ms RUDD on our pension
      payments yet to come into force this will put millions of,
      us old people in full poverty now come retirement day for us all
      Ms RUDD just doing the Tory party bidding now not giving,
      a darn about the voter + resident of U.K. that need help.
      //
      Mr Corbyn a new G.E. will also get shut of D.W.P. Ms RUDD
      from killing the old pensherners OFF by way of cash cut,
      to their pension payments remembering Ms RUDD will under
      parliamentary new laws Tory Govt changed
      SHE WILL GET HER FULL PENSION MONEY WITHOUT NO CUTS TO HER INCOME

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