Opinion: Tories are using Universal Credit to silence their critics

Small and independent news publishers and bloggers will struggle to survive under Universal Credit.

So-called ‘amateur journalists’ are teaching the professionals what it means to be.. ahem… ‘professional’. Bloggers and citizen journalists, to give them their proper name, are paving the way for a new news media.

Independent and free from outside influence, including the influence of high-cost journalism courses that only the rich can afford, every-day people are picking up their pens and keyboards to challenge the main-stream media outlets – who, lets face it, are far from independent.

While some independents inevitably have their faults, it’s becoming increasingly evident that they command more trust and respect than established ‘newspapers’. This is mainly due to their freedom to report and write about current affairs without being dictated to or forced into reporting news in any particular way – otherwise known as ‘spin’.

This new-found journalistic freedom has both the mainstream media and the political establishment worried, as they attempt to clampdown on those writing it – sometimes falsely labeling it as “fake news”. We should not be put off or intimidated into falling into line.

The Government’s latest attempt to crush small publishers and bloggers involves unfair rules in regard to claiming Universal Credit.

Those affected will be expected to increase their earnings, find extra work, or even shut down their business (and let’s face it,.. that’s what it is) and find a new job, or face the prospect of sanctions and their claims being closed.

Self employed people, which is what you are, will be treated as if they are working 35hrs per week on the ‘National Living Wage’, even if you aren’t, in relation to how your UC monthly payment will be calculated.

This effectively shuts down small publishers and bloggers who usually earn less than your typical worker.

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