Iain Duncan Smith – The Lunch Snatcher

The Guardian today reports that over 350,000 of the countries poorest children are set to lose free school lunches when Universal Credit is rolled out next year.

It appears that parents earning more than £7,500 a year will see their children lose out on free school meals and possibly also other in kind benefits such as help with school uniforms, travel and school trips.  This will mean that many families will be better off not taking part time work – exactly the kind of paradox that Iain Duncan Smith has boasted would end with the introduction of the new benefit system.

What the Guardian hasn’t yet noticed is that free prescriptions, legal aid and help with utility bills may also be under threat due to the implementation of Universal Credit.  Currently if someone claims certain benefits such as Income Support, Housing Benefit or Employment Support Allowance then they automatically become entitled to free prescriptions, basic dental care and other in kind benefits which are known as passported benefits.

This will all end after the introduction of Universal Credit meaning that for anyone with children, or a health condition, the loss of these benefits could see them forced to cut down their hours or give up part time work altogether.

Despite all of IDS’ claims that Universal Credit will make work pay, the reality is people are set to be forced between choosing to give up work, or letting their children go hungry.  Far from helping people who may be sick or disabled into work, Universal Credit could mean they will face losing free prescriptions if they take up a part time job.

The latest barely readable report from the DWP (PDF) to address these problems reveals that they haven’t actually yet decided how they will manage passported benefits.  It’s almost as if they hadn’t even considered them before.  All that seems certain is that somewhere there will be a cliff edge, and those earning above it will lose all entitlement.  Iain Duncan Smith is attempting radical reform of a welfare system that he apparently knew fuck all about.

One of the main reasons for this months drop in the unemployment figures is the number of people taking up part time work.  Universal Credit is shaping up to be devastating for part time workers who may have children or healthcare needs.

A chilling paragraph in the latest report reads: “Department of Health will review the NHS Low Income Scheme, to consider how best to align it with Universal Credit in a way that provides the best way forward for health support costs within the current financial climate.

All they seem to know for sure is that they plan to fuck over the low paid and the sick.  They just haven’t quite worked out how yet.

22 responses to “Iain Duncan Smith – The Lunch Snatcher

  1. As a single older woman part time work would scare me because I know someone of a similar age who went down that route and then became homeless a year later when her working tax credits stopped and she could not survive on her part time wage so had to settee hop between her two daughters.

    At the same time when she questioned DWP they told her that working tax credits was only for the first year while she was working part time and looking for a full time job. When she told them she had looked for a full time job the whole of that year and was not able to find one DWP told her that is not our problem and if you give up your part time job you will not receive JSA benefits either because you will be considered to have given up your job voluntary.

    Is this what they are doing?

    • Welfare Rights Adviser

      Relying on tax credits is well dodgy; they are based on the previous years income subject to repayment and all sorts of sneaky tricks. All those DWP “better-of-in-work” “calculations are pure bullshit. You want to know where you stand income-wise; not be dependent on some “benefit” that has been deliberately designed to trick you from moving from benefits to destitution, and furthermore you do want to be dependent on something which is subject to political and idealogical manoeuvring and can be withdrawn or revised on a whim. Your friend isn’t the first and won’t be the last to get fucked over by tax credits.


        Thanks for that conformation because they were trying it on with me before I landed on sick and I resisted because what this woman had told me had happened to her. Problem is now If I ever was forced back into work I would defo not be able to do more than a few short hours a week if that so where do people like me stand then?

    • on what grounds are you getting ‘working tax credits’?
      I get them for ‘disability reasons’ and the tax office are quite happy to continue with them, i would ask your local tax office as they know how they work, the DWP are as clueless as us out here

      • also, the dwp hate tax credits, the more tax credits wee get, the less they are involved and the more dodgy their job security becomes

      • Hi AXEL

        I am not getting working tax credits, never have and know little about them I was pointing out one woman’s story who was at the time in a similar position to me and what had happened to her because of WTC. I had never thought of getting in touch with the Tax Office so I will remember that advice thanks.

    • Self-employment isn’t looking so bad now/

  2. IDS-Lunch Munch zilla

  3. This knock-on effect happens with the new PIP as well. Once you lose the higher mobility rate the Blue Badge goes and that badge means access to a whole load of stuff – parking, special toilets and so on that you never knew you needed until they get taken away. IDS has got the idea of frog boiling down pat. Just turn up the heat a few degrees at a time and nothing moves until the water finally boils and kills the frog. Each step has been one where most people will say “Well it is not such a bad idea to stop the people who don’t deserve to get it (whatever ‘it’ is!) and besidies, it doesn’t affect me!”
    Guess what? It will affect us all in the end and he will smile along with his buddy Chris and tell us how sorry he is that nobody said anything until after it was too late. If this does not wake people up to what he is doing then I think we are truly screwed.

  4. What will happen to people who have been unwilling on the dole for over five years? take to the hills?

  5. What makes me sick...

    And on top of all that, we’ll get”The NHS (A Division of Ryanair Healthcare).

  6. I remember seeing IDS in front of the Commons Select Committee many, many months ago, last year. So many things he didn’t have answers to, fumbled about, asked the bloke from the DWP about and said repeatedly we.., we are still working on that.

    Who would qualify and how for free school meals was one of them.

    Yet the WR Bill was forced through without any of these questions being answered.

    How can they be idiotic enough to force something into law when they have no idea about how any of it is going to work?

    Universal Credit will only be available online and with weekly input of earnings.

    Just how many people struggling on the breadline do they think can afford a computer or keep up their internet connection when they can’t afford food and heating? They do know some people have never even used a computer or are illiterate, right?

    We are governed by morons and fanatics. And they think it is the public that need constant monitoring!

  7. Peak oil was reached in 2005-2006, there’s lots of oil left but they’ve almost used up a lot of the easy to get oil. The harder to get oil will eventually take more energy to get than the energy return they will get from it. Oil is the lifeblood of the industrial economy without it an industrial economy is not possible.

    Oil is used to grow food and is involved in making almost everything we use in one way or another. The economy is based on growth without growth the economy will collapse and it can’t grow without oil.

    Their whole current system is coming to an end and the ruling elite know this very well, they’ve known for a long time and so I think they are now finishing the job of systematically destroying the welfare state and reducing the people’s living standard to subsistence level under the pretense of “deficit reduction” because they know economic growth is over and they intend to make us all serfs with short brutish lives to reduce our numbers and to leave those who are not any use to them like the sick and disabled to die.

    That is why they are militarising the police in America and why Obama signed the NDAA act which gives him the legal right to kill Americans and hold them without trial indefinitely, I think they are planning similar policies for here for when we inevitably try to rebel.



  8. Yes, morons, fanatics and totally heartless and incompetent. Really dangerously so. £7,500 for God’s sake, same amount someone is expected to support a sick or disabled partner on after their WRAG group ESA stops after one year. They really despise the poor. This is the face of evil.


      I agree with you and I think about these things a lot yet am unable to do much about anything but somehow it has got to stop because I believe the evil b…..ds have got a ton more in store, plus today I am wound up because they have shunted the UK bill of rights through parliament and yet nobody is talking about what hell we will all be in if it goes through and they get us removed from the EHR.

  9. IDS =Tory Nazi Eugenecist.

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