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The future of universal credit was already seriously in doubt. But its survival now looks even more improbable following Westminster’s promises to the Scottish people in the run up to yesterday’s independence vote.

In their white paper on independence, published last November, Holyrood promised the abolition of the bedroom tax and a halt to the rollout of universal credit and personal independence payment.

Clearly independence is no longer going to happen in the near future, but Westminster has promised Holyrood much greater independence in relation to welfare benefits. So, there remains a very strong possibility that universal credit will soon be brought to a halt in Scotland.

Even if that doesn’t happen, the fact that the tax and benefits systems in Scotland will soon begin to differ from those in the rest of the UK means that the currently non-existent IT for universal credit would soon have to become even more impossibly complex to cope with separate calculations for Scotland.

In addition, more devolution for Wales and Northern Ireland now seems to be on the agenda. If tax and benefits systems begin to evolve differently in all four countries in the UK then the possibility of the IT systems keeping pace with so many changes becomes ever less likely.

With so much uncertainty about the future, and with a paltry 11,000 people so far signed up to universal credit, yesterday’s vote may be the perfect excuse for the coalition to abandon this disastrous project.

Comments  

#5 carruthers 2014-09-30 09:32
Angela, you say, "I want those rights I'm British""

Well, after devolution, you won't be British any more - for the purpose of benefits and tax, you'll be English.

And I'm betting that at the next election, the rest of the English will vote for giving as little money as possible to "scroungers" - that is anyone who receives any benefit except the state pension and child benefit.

How much more they will be able to demolish, with a permanent Tory majority, we will have to see. Some of it will go anyway when the new TIPP regime comes in and the NHS gets handed over to multi-national businesses.

And when we get rid of this coalition government, we will have a democratically elected Tory majority who will be able to claim that they have a real mandate to make even deeper cuts to the Welfare State.

Face it, people, a majority of English voters want to believe that "most of the so-called disabled" would simply be forced to "get a job" if state benefits were cut or removed entirely.

That's the power of propaganda. As one Daily Mail reader put it, "As for the disabled, I'm sorry for you but I don't want to give you my money." That's England speaking.
#4 carruthers 2014-09-30 08:30
Quote:
The fact that the tax and benefits systems in Scotland will soon begin to differ from those in the rest of the UK means that the currently non-existent IT for universal credit would soon have to become even more impossibly complex to cope with separate calculations for Scotland.
I beg to differ. If the Scots decide to to have their own benefit and tax system, then they will probably (as the independence manifesto of the SNP said) opt out of Universal Credit. This means that the first question on the UC application is going to be, "Do you live in Scotland?" If the answer is "Yes" then the UC system will simply say - "Go away, UC does not apply."

The big impact of devolution is - as has been said elsewhere - that a devolved English benefits and tax system will almost certainly be Tory-dominated for years to come. This in turn means that Osborne's wish to reduce the money spent on the poor and IDS's belief that the unemployed and the disabled need whipping into line will be the dominant ideology for a generation.

No, the best hope is that the shake-up which would follow devolution might give the Treasury its chance to say that all big projects will need re-evaluation in the light of the new constitutional situation. And then they (the Treasury) will get rid of UC, simply because it's an expensive mess.
+1 #3 Paul Richards 2014-09-23 21:39
Hi angela,
Your's are interesting comments and you are right in what you say.
The 3 main political parties have, at the end of the day painted themselves into a corner - through the lack of thinking ahead, they have most probably consigned themselves into a (probable) legally binding signed and dated commitment to the Scots which, if they should now reneage on this could find themselves (probably individually also) liable. I for one hope that if this is the case, then the Scots should say, we will not be having this and chase them.
With this 3 party Vow - all parts of the UK should have exactly the same rights and devolution.
We are all 'British' as you say, but there is also an ongoing case, for the Welsh, the Cornish, the English & also the Northern Irish to have their own rights and devolution in good measure.
If the Scots are given these rights, that I also personally believe that we should ALL have the same rights - this could well be the abolishing of the Bedroom tax, the scrapping of UC, WCA & PIP and the chance of going back to the way it used to be.
No Government funded (at vast taxpayer's expense!) private companies raking it in, well proved in the system of 'computer points' knocking people off of their well deserved benefits and instead of that, a fair system - taking into account all of a claimants problems, either of a physical or mental nature - not 'tested' by some foreign, or British 'health professional', comprised of
a care assistant, a physiotherapist or a lowly 'nurse',
but more of a true 'health professional' such as a 'GP' or a 'Consultant' in their prescribed field - but, if they did this properly - in 'Government' parlance, 'it would cost far too much'!!! :-* :eek:
#2 Jim Allison 2014-09-22 19:55
Although the Scottish people voted against being independent on a massive turn out of nearly 85%, and the vote was 55% against and 45% in favour, no doubt this unelected Coalition have done back door deals.

As for Alex Salmond, former leader of the SNP I say good riddance.
+2 #1 angela 2014-09-22 09:19
I thought the idea was to stay together so should we all not get the same benefit rights or am I missing some thing no Bedroom tax no UC no PIP SEEMS GOOD TO ME I want those rights as well I,m british

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