The position is, that there have been so many cuts, freezes and negative changes to so many different types of benefits, in such a short time.
The government has been very clever in introducing them a drip at a time and cushioning the blow with transitional protection.
By April this year there will have been at least 12 changes to various benefits in various areas since 2011. Add to this mix the moving of sick people from one sickness benefit to another with a more stringent criteria, which incidentally, has already cost an extra £26m due to the high numbers of appeals, as people contest the results of their medical assessment.
Then come the two biggies. In June Disability Living Allowance (DLA)is to change to Personal Independent Payment at a 20% reduction of the DLA budget, (more work for the Appeals Service) and in October comes the beginning of Universal Credit with all its quirks
So the result is a game of Divide and Conquer on different levels,
Firstly, every single agency that is out there for different groups, the elderly, the carers, the children’s group etc. have focused on helping their own client group, especially campaigning against the impact of the introduction of Universal Credit later this year.
So while these groups were busy, the Government then turned the low paid worker against the unemployed, and launched a very successful media campaign to do this, thus diverting the media’s attention, who jumped on the Government’s propaganda bandwagon, instead of looking at the cumulative affect of these cuts, freezes and negative regulation changes.
Making people homeless when the local councils have a legal duty of care towards them is incredibly expensive and destructive. The Government have evidence that shows this, impact assessments and letters that warn that there could be costs rather than savings, especially with the benefit cap.
The Government knows how many children will be affected. It did an impact assessment.
Finally cut the route for help and assistance to the groups who are affected, by abolishing almost all of Legal Aid which finances many voluntary sector organizations
So while all this was going on the government introduced other measures into law.
On 9th November 2011 the British Public lost the right to put their names on the councils Housing Waiting List and The Government cut the budget for Council Tax by at least 10% the coming year
At the same time this government voted through a 1% increase to Benefits. Their own impact assessment shows that the families who earn the least will lose £3-£4 per week
So now everyone, Councils, Housing Associations and the voluntary sector organizations are taking a huge intake of air and holding their breath for April, when the perfect storm arrives.