Letters - April 12, 2019

Universal Credit has been rolled out and it has been reported that it has put people into economic hardship.

Friday, 12th April 2019, 6:21 pm
Updated Friday, 12th April 2019, 6:29 pm
It was the intention that Universal Credit would be a fairer system, which would bring children out of poverty, but the opposite has been the case, says Peter Guthrie
It was the intention that Universal Credit would be a fairer system, which would bring children out of poverty, but the opposite has been the case, says Peter Guthrie

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation stated that 1.5 million people in the UK in 2017 experienced destitution. To put this into context, they went without food, toiletries, adequate clothing and shelter.The reason why this occurs, I believe, is due to the benefit sanctions imposed for claimants who have not met specific criteria. There is a combination effect of benefits being cut, delays in claimants receiving benefits and sanctions, meaning that people are being pushed into extreme deprivation.It was the intention that Universal Credit would be a fairer system, which would bring children out of poverty. The Child Poverty Action Group, a pressure group campaigning against children living in poverty, shows that more children will be affected due to the unfairness of the system, which the combination effect allows.In 2011, the Government stated that 320,000 children would be brought out of poverty. This figure was downgraded in 2013, showing that the Government intends that 150,000 children would be brought out of poverty. Surely it shows that Universal Credit is not fit for purpose in bringing families with children out of poverty. It is not just the implementation of Universal Credit which has allowed people to fall into poverty. There have been cuts in disability benefits, tax credits, child benefit, ESA and incapacity benefit and housing benefit. This has led to an increase in people using food banks and has sent more people into destitution and poverty. Benefit poverty has had an effect on the mental health of disabled people who have been found ‘fit to work’. There has been an increase in the number of suicides and attempted suicides. It has become so bad that the UN has condemned the UK Government’s treatment of disabled people.Peter Guthrie via email BrexitMPs are terrified of leaving the EUThere can never have been a more spineless cabinet, government and parliament than those at present failing to serve those who elected them. Even those in office in the traumatic years prior to the declaration of war in 1939 can’t equal this debacle. Our MPs are terrified of leaving the European Union because they will then have to govern the UK themselves instead of following the decisions of the unelected European Commission. They also wish to avoid a general election at this time as a good number of them will lose their seats and will find it hard to find employment which can command remuneration of £80,000 pa.David BlackburnLinks GateSt AnnesBrexitMargin isn’t so narrow

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In the media, especially at the BBC, all Remainers refer to the narrow result in the EU referendum. Apparently one million plus votes is narrow?Looking closely at the detail of that result, we find 406 constituencies voted Leave and 242 voted Remain, mostly in Scotland and London. Yet it is claimed to be a narrow outcome?The UK consists of 15 regions. Deducting votes from Scotland, Wales and Ulster, it leaves England’s 12 regions alone where the Leave vote was 54.7 per cent and Remain accrued 45.3 per cent. A narrow result? Remove London and the Leave vote 60 per cent in the other 11 English regions with Remain at 40 per cent...a narrow result?England has most constituencies, this accounts for the massive number of 406 voting to Leave. Yet our blind PM, goaded on by the Conservative Party establishment, demand the UK stays chained to the EU, even if her bad deal gets through Parliament. Alan ChapmanAddress suppliedBrexitDistraction from other issues

What would have made the headlines if there had been no Brexit? Three years plus of negotiations and still counting. Is it a deliberate prolongation designed to distract us in order to keep inconvenient issues away from the front pages?What topics might have made the bold print if there was no Brexit? Would they have been different concerns? Matters such as are people content with the direction the country is going? Do folk believe the standards of morality are satisfactory and are improving? Or do they think the alternative – that morals are in decline and need attending to? Is democracy still being practised? Or does the redirecting of so many powers from local councils to people working in London represent an ongoing confiscation by the power-hungry?Martin Powellvia email