THERE have been many letters on this page describing the sheer suffering the universal credit benefit system is causing.

Universal credit is the biggest benefit shake-up since the 1940s and is by far the cruellest.

Even former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher would not entertain this kind of treatment.

The system is designed to punish by removing benefits. To willingly and routinely do this is disgusting, Now the Tories are turning their attention to those working part-time on low pay.

For the first time ever those claiming in-work benefits like tax credits must now attend the jolly old job centre to search for more work and increase their hours.

They will be directed onto back-to-work courses, skills training and mandatory work activity.

To keep them in line the Tories have introduced a brand new brutal sanction regime, one that does not make work pay - in fact it takes pay off you.

For first failure to comply it’s a fine of £70 a week for three months.

I would like to point out this is triple the punishment compared to the previous system.

Stephen Dixon, Redcar

A LANDSCAPE marked by uncertainty, the challenges of Brexit and an ever increasing threat of further austerity, consider the images of greed, represented by some multi-million pound footballers and performers and those whose fate lie in the balance.

It is easy to adulate those whose abilities and opulent lifestyle aspire others to succeed, but so many fail to provide that positive role model and help the next generation in their pursuit of the good life.

To meet the expectations that might lead to success it is important that effort is a consideration. Success or the route for achieving success has to be more than just image but something that is real and substantial.

The principles that underpin universal credit might appear credible and commendable on the surface, but the reality is chaos, delays and distress.

I have some awareness of the issues, not as a claimant but through knowledge of individuals who are at the mercy of a flawed system.

The people concerned are not scroungers. Many are seeking assistance at the beginning of their working career, or at least the hope is that employment will materialise.

Meanwhile seeking benefit is about trying to live; to eat and having somewhere to live is a basic human right.

Whilst there are different circumstances affecting individuals who are claiming, too often I hear unfair criticism and comments that are speculative and inaccurate.

Government is all too guilty of looking at what might be and refusing to acknowledge that there are those who genuinely suffer and are hindered by the inefficiencies of universal credit.

Bernie Walsh, Coxhoe