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Universal Credit claims - the TUC needs your help

A coronavirus

A coronavirus

THE TRADES Union Congress (TUC) needs your help to make the UK's Universal Credit scheme less awful. Between 16 March and 12 May this year, 2.6 million declarations were made for Universal Credit (UC). That, the TUC reports, is almost five times the rate just before the crisis hit the UK.

Nearly a million existing emergency payment loans have been made to claimants who are unable to wait five weeks for their first payment. The five-week wait has pushed people into poverty and debt, with rising numbers being referred to foodbanks.

"There is simply no justification for the five-week wait for Universal Credit," the TUC says - "it has to go!"

So the TUC - the confederation of UK trades unions - needs your help to build up evidence. Send your experiences or thoughts about Universal Credit.

And a warning...

The BBC reports people who were receiving Working Tax Credit having it cancelled when they started an application for Universal Credit. They did not even complete that application, because they were concerned that their savings would make them ineligible. So if you receive Working Tax Credit or any other "legacy" benefit - take great care.

And a petition...

Alongside the NUJ's efforts to plug gaps in covid-19 coverage for freelances, there's a petition calling on the Chancellor to extend the self-employment support to freelances who are paid PAYE. At present these have to persuade their clients to furlough them (with the union's help) if the clients have no work for them.

And an appeal...

The European Federation of Journalists points us to democratizingwork.org - an appeal backed by the European Trade Union Confederation and co-signed by more than 4000 academics when we last checked. As it says:

Every morning, men and women, especially members of racialized communities, migrants and informal economy workers, rise to serve those among us who are able to remain under quarantine. They keep watch through the night. The dignity of their jobs needs no other explanation than that eloquently simple term, "essential worker". That term also reveals a key fact that capitalism has always sought to render invisible with another term, "human resource". Human beings are not one resource among many. Without labor investors, there would be no production, no services, no businesses at all.

Spread the word!