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Benefit system plunges council tenants into debt

Thursday December 17 2015

money money

A NEW system for benefit payments has plunged 33 local families into debt - leaving them with a combined rent bill of £17,500.

Universal Credit is now being rolled out - which will see claimants receive their rent included as part of their monthly benefit rather than paid directly to the landlord in the form of Housing Benefit as it used to be.

But a council spokesman said: "In the first six months of 2015/16 we know of only 33 of our tenants who are in receipt of universal credit.

"However, of these 54 per cent have arrears exceeding £300 and in total £17,500 is owed by the 33 tenants."

The council is now having to allocate a £3 million emergency budget to cover the rent arrears it is anticipating through the Barnsley-wide adoption of the scheme. 

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Reply Posted by Eve on Thursday December 17 2015 at 07:15
Well worked harder like the rest of us.

Reply Posted by Alison on Thursday December 17 2015 at 08:28
Ah there speaks someone who has 'no idea'. It is not that easy if someone has been on long term benefits (Including ESA (sick money), for whatever reason, they may not be able to look after their own finances therefore the slight 'baby-sitting' the government did help them to keep a roof over their head. Now with the introduction of Universal Credit, people can't keep on top of their finances. I mean some may not even have bank accounts where DD's can be set up. Tis never black and white.

Reply Posted by Tom on Thursday December 17 2015 at 21:09
People on Universal Credit, much like those on Housing benefit can have their housing element of benefit paid directly to the landlord, if they so wish. It is, as it has been for many decades now, paid four weeks in arrears.

Reply Posted by Dean on Thursday December 17 2015 at 16:22
Ive worked at Job centres and welfare to work providers in Barnsley, Sheffield and Rotherham for the last 15 year......

Work harder, like the rest of us...

Alison, you are enabling these people to continue on their journey of non existence.

Reply Posted by Tom on Thursday December 17 2015 at 21:05
Then it beggars belief that you still have a job. The figure quoted is the standard four weekly arrears for the tenants in question. Surely you should be able to spot this, if you work in the field, rather than spout right wing nonsense you expect to read in trash like the sun and see on channel 5.

Idiots work hard, people should work smart. That said, to last 15 years in the welfare to work industry, I am sure you have managed to work very hard and tick all the boxes, cause untold misery for your clients whilst achieving outcomes worse than those achieved by offering a person no help (or should that be a burden) in the form of Welfare to Work program whatsoever. - at vast cost to the taxpayer. Thank god funding is now being cut, with workfare now scrapped and with large parts of W2W to be done away with over the coming parliament.

I shall expect there will be little sympathy for those in your line of work thrown onto the dole queue, who will be able to sign on via ATM like everyone else once the changes are fully phased in.

Reply Posted by Steven James on Thursday December 24 2015 at 09:39
Agree with every word Tom.
What our friend Dean here fails to realise that in his lifetime there will be no such thing as W2W providers and the way people find and are put into jobs will change exponentially.
Dean, you better ensure you sanction as many people as possible while you still have time, one day you WILL be sat at the other side of that desk....

Reply Posted by me on Thursday December 17 2015 at 17:29
Easy for people in work to slate others, have some compassion for god sake , could be you one day you know

Reply Posted by Dean on Friday December 18 2015 at 12:23
Ive spent a while on Job seekers, long term, I worked my way out of it.

Work harder.

Reply Posted by anon on Thursday December 17 2015 at 18:01
I'm on universal credit and I try damn hard to find jobs, so unless one of you arrogant, working-class snobs are going to hire us 'dole-scum', you can stop telling us to work harder when we haven't got a chance to even work.

Reply Posted by sick of 2 faced brainless on Thursday December 17 2015 at 18:36
most people on these posts love to scream..get a job,work harder,budget better like us hard working better than you people....but what most fail to say is theyre claiming more benefits than most.A family or single parent who works claims more benefits than a single unwilling to work person..child BENEFIT,working tax credits(BENEFIT)child tax credits(BENEFIT) housing BENEFIT,council tax rebate(BENEFIT)..tory press brain wash ..get working poor to hate jobless poor,and most fall for it everytime.some people are beyond help and will blow the lot on drugs an beer but not all the unemployed are the same...

Reply Posted by Me on Thursday December 17 2015 at 20:34
Some families like mine don't claim housing benefit because they buy their own homes which cost to maintain, don't claim working tax benefits because they want to show their kids how you cannot rely on benefits.

Saying that though, benefits should be quicker to arrive and are often not needed if help is given to find another job!

Reply Posted by Tom on Thursday December 17 2015 at 21:07
Don't let the so and sos grind you down. The person shouting work harder doesn't appear to work in the field as they show very little knowledge. If they do, they are soon likely to experience unemployment and they might just find it humbling.

Reply Posted by dean on Friday December 18 2015 at 12:27
I left the field in 2015 start. This was due to getting sick off the same crap of I cant find work.

The welfare to work providers are the root cause. Soaking up allocated money rather than reinvesting in the job centres primary function.

I am not soon to find unemployment, I am secure. And to be honest, if I did, I'd find employment fast, as I am a worker.

Reply Posted by Steven James on Thursday December 24 2015 at 09:30
Your grammar is shocking!

I wouldn't employ you as you seem to not be able to string a coherent sentence together.


Reply Posted by Tom on Thursday December 17 2015 at 20:53
HB is paid 4 weeks in arrears. Rents and HB are IRO £500-600 a month for some.

17500/33 = 530.33

The figure quoted is merely 33 lots of 4 times the normal weekly rent. The amount of money you would expect to be owed by 33 tenants in arrears. Nothing to see here. This is a non-story written by somebody with little grasp of how tenancies work.

Paying rent in arrears every 4 weeks is a standard practise. Much like people paying for their utility bills a month or even a quarter at a time, in arrears.

ipso Regulated