Socialist Worker

Tory benefit ‘reforms’ mean people can’t access the support they’re entitled to

Issue No. 2585

Work and pensions secretary David Gauke

Work and pensions secretary David Gauke (Pic: FCO/Flickr)

Hundreds of thousands of unemployed people are not receiving financial support that they are entitled to.

As many as 300,000 are not claiming benefits worth at least £73 a week, according to the Resolution Foundation think tank.

Dubbed the “forgotten unemployed”, this group is predominately made up of older women aged 55 to 64 and younger men.

Some were also in work and entitled to claim Universal Credit (UC).

It disproves the lies of Tories and right wing newspapers who scapegoat benefit claimants as defrauding the welfare state.

The Tories’ reforms during the last seven years have made it harder for people to access the support they need.

And the bigoted scapegoating means there is a stigma attached to claiming benefits which deters some people from claiming them.

The Tories are now rolling out UC, an amalgam of seven different benefits, across Britain.


And the policy has already caused hardship for people during the winter months.

Eileen, a UC claimant from west London, told Socialist Worker, “A few weeks ago I suddenly found myself without a job, without savings to last more than a week, and without a way to get benefits.

“I’m 50, I didn’t expect this.

“The care for my disabled son has broken down so I have to look after him, it’s hard to get work.

“I was told I couldn’t get anything on UC for weeks.”

But the Tories are determined to push it through.

Work and pensions secretary David Gauke has begun to brazenly reject criticisms of UC as creating hardship for welfare claimants.

“I strongly believe we have got a really good policy with this that will transform lives,” he said.

Indeed it is transforming lives—for the worse.

Labour has called on the government to “pause and fix” UC.

But it can’t be fixed—we have to campaign to “stop and scrap” it.

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