Monday, 3 June 2013

Universal Tax Credits - A mother's perspective

Just a side note before getting into this blog, The Young Political Radical now has Twitter - I highly suggest following it as there will be important announcements coming out over the next week which will give readers the opportunity to express their opinions directly. Follow @YoungPolRadical (

Allow me to introduce:

I am the new guest author on this site, Louise McOuat. my dear friend was looking for some help and I offered, However I am not a politically minded as he is, so my work will reflect a lot of personal views and the views of others. I will be looking at the effects of the new changes in laws, and the main topic in Scotland right now is Independence. Besides those I hope to highlight other topic of worldwide interest, as well as looking at how society has changed and if this is for the better.

When I first decided to help out and write this blog, I struggled to find a topic to there were so many that I though could be addressed, Education, the country’s debt, money matters etc. I found that these topics can be incredibly boring. The more I looked the more I found that these topics were at the heart of the nation’s concerns. I have a 12 year old son, and have found myself wondering just how much does he understand of the world around him.  With the school holidays coming up I have found he asking for more and more money to covers days trip and club fees, money it would seem is something that everyone has issues with at the moment.

The new bedroom tax, and Universal credit payments that are to be introduced later on this year as in the forefront of everyone’s mind.  Parents and families on low incomes are now struggling to pay rent, council tax and the new bedroom tax, on top of their monthly bills, as well as survive another summer of their children asking for more and more money, to help occupy them over the 7 week holiday. 

So we have to ask, Did the government really thinking this through? Government, has come up with the brilliant plan of paying everyone all their benefits in one monthly payment ( JSA, ESA, Housing  and Council tax, Child tax credits, Working family tax credits and Child benefit.) that is one large lump sum of money. You the individual will be responsible for paying all of you bills off of that payment, to budget for the whole month. Am I the only one who sees the problem here?

The problem I foresee is this: Many people are already set in a routine for paying bills and have worked out the finances accordingly, but what of those people, ( elderly and mentally disable) who rely heavily on the week to week routine, the distress it will cause, when that person has to adjust to a new budget. There are people who are sitting on the breadline each month, with more bills than they can afford, that have worked extremely hard to find a balance.  Will the bank, of the utility companies, rent office allow for a grace period?  NO they will continue to work on business as usual, which means for the first couple of month, most people with be getting hit with Bank charges, late payment fines and the like.  This is of course, if you are a hard working individual, who will plan and prepare for the changeover.

But what of those who are unable or unwilling to take this new responsibility on.  I mean no offence of course, but Do you really think a drug addict or alcoholic (recovering or not) will be able to resisting the opportunity to spend a little extra to feed their habit. I would like to think they would, with support of agencies  involved in their care, But what of those not one knows about?  those who haven't come forward.

In closing, I feel like we need to be asking more questions about this Universal credit payment scheme, and looking closely at those who are already struggling financially.

IS this really the best plan for allowing us the people some independence, to feel like we are in control of our lives.

OR are we going to be hearing report of riotous behaviour, overdoses and a higher police present required handling the overflow from the pubs and clubs each weekend?

Only time will tell, but I believe that this new payment scheme will only bring more trouble, and a larger debt to the country for a long time after it has started. 

Find out more about the Universal credit payment here:

NEXT TIME: Education standards.

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