Q. With these new changes to Universal Credit coming in, what do you think about this focus on helping working families?
The taper rate is still a tax on income. Ok it's reduced from 63 p in the pound to 55 p in the pound earned, but compared to conventional taxation it's still a huge cut to the budget of working families. What would be far better is that working families were paid properly so they weren't reliant on UC in the first place. I am in receipt of legacy benefits & I am unable to work due to chronic ill health & disability. Every time I hear the term "working families" in this context I bristle a little, because in that phrase the subtext, to me at least, suggests that they are considered more worthy than those of us who cannot work for various reasons. It provokes the old tropes of the deserving v. undeserving poor & strivers v. skivers which make our lives so much harder in combatting the stereotyping & stigma we are subjected to but also in altering the narrative about what it means to live in poverty.