Skip to main content

Easy Mistakes Made Easier With Universal Credit

This morning I went for a walk before stopping off at the post office; the last best hope locally for cash as we can’t have nice things like cash points in villages without the likes of Tesco. I had checked my bank balance over the last couple of days since doing my shopping on Wednesday to see if the debit card payment had cleared. Even though I’m not particularly stupid I find keeping track of card payments a pain given how each interaction can take its own sweet time to clear, regardless of venue. It seemed I had about £24 more than I thought – quids in! I had even considered going to town (not cheap on the bus at all). I treated myself to a baguette and a caramel slice yesterday from my good fortune!

After about five minutes I suddenly realised why I had that extra money – that was next week’s shopping budget. Had I gone out today, on top of yesterday’s culinary extravagance, I would have spent a few quid I would likely have irreversibly spent money better off saved.

This is how easy it is to make a mistake accounting on benefits. Fortunately for me I have relatively few expenses and can make a few quid last a bit longer even if it means foregoing expensive bakery luxuries. Had I spent money today it would have come from my rainy day amount which, if I ever really needed it, would soon disappear.

A simple oversight based on a fortnight’s money like this could be a lot more catastrophic for someone with more expenses, perhaps from dependents or caring responsibilities. This can only be made much worse when Universal Credit comes in; fortnightly payments will be made monthly. This is something that people like Iain Duncan Smith and his attack dogs will never understand.


  1. People who advocate for monthly payments under UC say people in work are paid monthly, so paying claimants the same way will help them get into the "world of work". One problem is thousands of people in work struggle to make ends meet over course of a month - even on what appear to be quite generous salaries - and have to resort to payday loans to survive.

    Wonga and the like must be salivating at the prospect of monthly payments of Universal Credit...

    1. I bet Beecroft or whatever his name is can't believe his luck. Under this government he must think all his birthdays have come at once. The mountain of debt he will have overseen will be grotesque, which is bitter irony considering how much the tories lambasted Gordon Brown for the debt bubble labour were supposedly responsible for.

    2. One more thing I must say is my Dad was always paid weekly, right up until he retired in 2008. He was on a modest wage (though still more than the NMW) but the fact he was paid weekly made things much easier for us as a family.

      Not everybody in work gets paid monthly, in fact I don't know when this idea became accepted wisdom.

    3. I imagine monthly payments are the work of accountants and payroll staff.

  2. I worked for Royal Mail for two years and was paid weekly - being paid 52 times a year made things a hell of a lot more manageable than being paid 12 times a year. Especially on a low wage.

    1. I can well imagine. Now people are suddenly forced to adopt this because 'its like the world of work'!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

I Fucking Hate the Work Programme

That did not go well.
My legs were wobbly to begin with as I closed in on the church that passes for the office of the employment wing of the Salvation Army. My appointment was 3 to half past. I really did feel sick. Pretty early on, when he asked for the forms he gave me last time to fill in, I knew that what was arranged on the letter (a short interview with me bringing my CV and jobsearch) was actually going to be much longer. I also knew that, come half three when I had to leave to catch my bus back ten minutes later, I was going to have problems. 
Unfortunately, though more for me I fear, it never got that far; at 20 past he terminated the interview citing my apparent 'putting up barriers' as the reason not to continue. This was because I refused consent for him to keep my CV. I asked why he needed it and offered, three times, to show it to him (that's all), he said it was to apply for jobs on my behalf. The EEC's need this information.
What's an EEC? Employm…

I Hate James Bartholomew

Know the Tory mindset: according to these creatures welfare breeds dependency. Meanwhile they do not want to set a minimum wage, they do not want to create legislation to protect the un - and under - employed from the predations of the system they benefit from. That word is chosen deliberately, because they like benefits for themselves - the ability to sack whom they like, when they like and how they like. In this UKIP are the same. This is the febrile heart of the right wing.
Yesterday on 5 Live's laughable morning phone in - bigots drink for free - another right wing excuse for a human, James Bartholomew, revealed another aspect of their nasty prejudice and staggering ignorance. Not surprisingly this vile creature was once a banker. He writes (if one can call it that) for the Telegraph and though I don't know the content of his ballot paper, I dare say I can guess. He props up every tory myth about the unemployed and welfare with dull witted aplomb.
He believes people have …

Magical Thinking

Well that's that for pursuing a diagnosis for Aspergers or anything remotely similar.

I contacted the Patient Advisory Liaison Service (PALS) to try and sort this out after being lied to by the clinician regarding referring me to the ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) people. That never happened and she continues to deny saying she would. Of course I cannot prove this and so the patient-doctor dynamic kicks in: I'm the lowly patient, she's the expert doctor, her reputation versus mine and so who wins?

I could make a complaint, but what would be the point. I might get a nice letter in a few months time saying sorry in a mealy mouthed way, but it doesn't get me any closer to what I need. That being a diagnosis, a formal, written and recorded, recognition of the issues I deal with. Lacking that, dealing with the systems in society, chiefly the DWP, becomes more difficult. Unfortunately the medical profession doesn't seem to care about that.

We have a society fuelled by …