Theresa May deceives at PMQs over Universal Credit and arrears.

Today’s Prime Minister Questions saw Theresa May deceive the House of Commons over Universal Credit and rent arrears.  Below is the Hansard record that I have highlighted and the source is here.

theresa may UC lie

As you can see the context is Jeremy Corbyn asks Theresa May a question about the relationship between the implementation of Universal Credit and rent arrears.  The Prime Minister states:

“… but we see that after four months, the number of people on universal credit in arrears has fallen by a third.”

This is true yet what Theresa May fails to say is that this is still a 23% increase in arrears after 4 months and directly caused by universal credit.  What Theresa May knowingly and very conveniently failed to state was the number of tenants in arrears from universal credit implementation increase by 85% from week 1 and thus a fall of one-third or 33% after 4 months is still a huge increase.

Let me patronise you with the most basic arithmetic reader, the basic arithmetic Theresa May patronises you with and hopes that you do not comprehend.

  1. The number of tenants in arrears pre universal credit is 100
  2. The introduction of UC increases this by 85% to 185 tenants in arrears
  3. 4 months go by and 185 tenant in arrears falls by 33% to 124 tenants in arrears.

Thus the original number of tenants in arrears increases from 100 to 124 which is a 24% increase in tenants in arrears and directly attributable to Universal Credit.

Theresa may was guilt of an error of omission and of commission.  If she knows the percentage figures for UC created arrears after 4 months then she clearly knows the initial position and percentage increase in arrears that UC creates.

Put simply Theresa May has knowingly deceived the House of Commons.

Put even more simply she told a huge whopping lie.

In trying to be clever and devious and spin the horrific impact of Universal Credit on arrears – and the arrears to eviction to homeless pathway – Theresa May has been found out.

Oh but she didn’t lie, she left some things out her supporters will say. And what she actually said was likely to be correct that UC arrears fall after four months and largely due to Universal Credit allowing arrears payments to landlords in those four months that equate to 24 months of arrears payments that a court would sanction.  See here for the detail on how the DWP through Universal Credit regulations permits landlords to claim back arrears at over 6 times what a court of law would allow.

But lets cut to the chase.  Theresa May lied and a basic knowledge of the most basic arithmetic proves she lied to defend the indefensible that is her policy of Universal Credit.  If you get the chance to watch video of Theresa May uttering this lie she is also the most unconvincing liar you can imagine.  Mute the sound and a 3 year old can see from her body language that she knows she is lying through her teeth and even Hansard records her stuttering delivery above.

She even premises the UC arrears lie with:

  “There have been concerns raised—there have been concerns raised in this House previously—over the issue of people managing their budgets to pay rent …”

Theresa may really is a vile creature.  When you get no income whatsoever for at least six weeks and often longer with Universal Credit please advise how you manage a budget of zero fucking income Prime Minister?  To blame UC directly created arrears on tenant mismanagement of money that they have not got and not got directly because of Universal Credit policy is shameful and offensive.

The original Corbyn question used a lettings agency sending out pre-emptive section 21 Notice to all private tenants.  In short UC now applies in this area hence we no longer take any benefit tenants and you are going to be evicted.

Let me add to that horror with the reality of how UC affects social tenants and those not in arrears when UC implementation begins.

UC systemic arrears

The above describes the procedure using a chronology which for some incredulous reason is what happens and is legally permissible.  Take a look again at the post I issued yesterday here and the picture I used from a landlord tweet to recount what UC actually means.

kirkless apa 35%

35 per cent on an APA – alternative payment arrangement – that by default takes six times more from the tenant for arrears payment at source than a court would sanction and you see why and how universal credit arrears do come down by one-third after four months as this is the equivalent of six times that time period of two years worth of arrears payment a court would sanction as the maximum the tenant could afford to pay from benefit income.

Yet arrears numbers would still be 24% higher than before the implementation of universal credit – the lie that Theresa May informed the House of Commons today.

What a piece of work this vile incompetent lying politician is eh reader.  She is your Prime Minister who not only lies to you and patronises you but one who is prepared to let children go hungry and lose the roof over their heads because of the systemic and 100% political decision to put in a minimum 6 week delay into the universal credit policy.

By all means be ‘economical with the truth’ to defend some greater good or the national interest Prime Minister, we can all understand that.  Yet knowingly and deliberately lying to protect a failure of a policy that takes food out of the mouth of children is quite another matter.  To lie so brazenly and to be found out so easily in that lie shows that you are not even an effective politician.

It shows you are as much a failure as your flagship universal credit policy.

It is way past time for you and the policy to go.  Time you did.





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