The Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Twitter account is often the subject of ridicule and anger among social media users. But a tweet on Sunday 9 September was quickly shut down by one savvy Twitter user.
The DWP: at it again
Mid-Sunday morning and the DWP was trotting out its usual promotional material; this time for Universal Credit. The controversial benefit, which replaces six existing ones, has repeatedly come under fire from campaigners, trade unions and others. But the DWP is carrying on with its rollout, regardless. And its Twitter account is doing the PR legwork.
It tweeted the story of Adam. The tweet claims Universal Credit gave him “the tailored support he needed to get the job he loved”. According to Adam:
After having his son, #UniversalCredit provided Adam with the tailored support he needed to get the job he loved. Find out how #UniversalCredit can help you too https://t.co/qsV2Fb0O4H pic.twitter.com/6kTeUCzCLy
— DWP (@DWP) September 9, 2018
Obviously, it’s not Adam’s fault the DWP used him in its latest round of propaganda. And it’s nice to see Adam happy. But the blanket painting of Universal Credit as some sort of answer to people’s prayers is almost as preposterous as it is nauseating. Which one social media user recognised.
Kevin Higgins decided to counter Adam’s story with one about Kirsty. A lone parent and part-time worker, the government previously supported her with tax credits and housing benefits. But after Kirsty was forced to move onto Universal Credit, these payments all stopped. And the DWP left her without money for seven weeks. You can read Kirsty’s story here:
— Kevin Higgins (@KevinHiggins27) September 9, 2018
The tweet left another Twitter user unimpressed as well:
— Simon Ball (@simon_ball46) September 9, 2018
Universal Credit: an altered reality
The DWP wants people to believe that Universal Credit is a wonderful innovation. But the reality is very different.
From the rising use of food banks to homelessness, to payment reductions and poverty, via sanctions and court cases – the new benefit is causing misery up and down the country. Even the DWP’s own claimant survey backs this up. So, while it continues its relentless social media propaganda campaign, it’s good to see people seeing through the bullshit.
– Check out the #DWPcrimes, #ScrapUniversalCredit and #CrimesOfDWP hashtags on Twitter. Support the blogs Universal Credit Sufferer and The Poor Side of Life. Get involved with Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), fighting for disabled people’s rights.
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