The Reply to my “Dear Lord of DWP Darkness” Letter
The following was received by myself today via email.
As you will notice it appears to be a standard letter and does absolutely nothing to answer any of the questions I asked in my original letter.
Honestly, I expected nothing less from this government. It is much the same as the reply I was sent last year. Extremely insulting to completely ignore all the questions raised, all the concerns, and to reply with a standard letter with information I already have!
Ministerial Correspondence Team, Caxton House, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA
Ms Loraine Tebbett
Our Ref: TO/11/46748
21 December 2011
Dear Ms Tebbett
Thank you for your recent correspondence. Government Ministers receive a large volume of correspondence and they are unable to respond personally on every occasion. As your correspondence falls within the remit of this Department, I have been asked to respond.
The Government is looking at a wide variety of issues relating to benefits and pensions. Ministers believe that reform is needed in a number of areas. The current Welfare Reform Bill and the new Pensions Act include proposals for major reforms and represent the biggest changes to the welfare system for over 60 years. The Welfare Reform Bill is continuing its progress through Parliament.
Worklessness and benefit dependency are bad for benefit recipients, bad for communities and bad for society. The Coalition Agreement made a promise that this Government would encourage a strong, fair, responsible society that supports and protects the poorest and most vulnerable and that respects the investment taxpayers make and spends the money wisely.
Universal Credit will be a fundamental reform of the benefits system with a single welfare payment that rewards people for moving into work. Existing means-tested benefits that will no longer be needed include income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit. There will be a new single taper of around 65 per cent; this is the rate at which benefit will be reduced to take account of net earnings. In addition different amounts of earnings will be disregarded before the taper applies to reflect the needs of different households. By allowing people to keep more of their benefit when they first go back to work, Universal Credit will ensure that getting a job will always pay.
Universal Credit will restore fairness and simplicity to an overly complex, outdated and expensive benefits system that often acts as a barrier in getting back to work. The clear financial incentive provided by Universal Credit will be backed up by a strong system of conditionality: unemployed people who can work will be required to take all reasonable steps to find and move into employment. It will find the right balance between the welfare state as a safety net and a benefits system that sends out a clear message: if you can work, you should work. By actively putting work at the centre of working-age support, the Government wants to create a new contract with the British people. The Department will help them to find work and make sure work pays when they do. They, in return, will be expected to seek work and take work when it is available. This contract is about the state and citizens in a responsible society working together to improve the quality of life for those who are worst off.
Ministers do welcome all views, and I would like to thank you for your comments. Should you wish to find out more about our proposed reforms, or about Government services, information can be found through the internet at www.direct.gov.uk.
Head of the Correspondence Team