There’s always a lot of talk about the welfare state and how it makes people not want to work – benefit scroungers, fraud, stories of people swindling the system out of huge amounts of cash, sitting at home eating cheeseburgers which honest hardworking folk like you and I have paid for fill the newspapers, everyday.
But the truth is that these people are the exception, not the rule. Most people just get on with it, surviving as best they can until they get a job that means they can do more than just survive.
There’s already been a lot said about the plans in this Welfare Reform paper – the idea that people will have to do menial jobs for nothing to ‘get used’ to working again has sparked controversy, especially. But that doesn’t tell you what the new scheme, Universal Credit, actually means if you’re unemployed. Is it better? Is it worse? It could even be exactly the same.
You already know how much you’re getting now, and how much you’d have to earn for stopping taking benefits to be a proper advantage.
Before you take a look:
- You should also know that ESA, DLA, contributory JSA and Child Benefit aren’t part of the new system – they’ll be separate. How much you get from them will reduce your basic Universal Credit benefit though.
- Universal credit takes away some benefits like housing benefit – the idea is to give you a basic amount that covers housing too.
- It’s also important to understand that this is based on this year’s figures. In 2013 when universal credit comes in, things could be very different.
- And a last word of warning: I’m bad at maths. I’ve tried my best but may still be quite, quite wrong!