Login FormClose

In the latest newsletter, we've looked at some of the things the political parties might have planned for claimants after the next election, but which they are not willing to admit.  We'd be interested to know what other plots you think might be lurking in hidden manifestos.

For example, we can reveal that the Ministry of Justice has done so much work on charging benefits claimants to go to a tribunal that they are refusing to send us the information - because it would cost too much to collect and collate it all.

Then there’s the news that a Labour council have had to abandon a scheme for giving claimants a pre-payment card instead of cash, because only two people volunteered. It was Labour who introduced compulsory prepayment cards for failed asylum seekers and it was IDS who announced at the Conservative party conference in September that they will now be tested on claimants who are parents and have “drug or alcohol addiction, even problem debt, or more”.

How long before ESA and JSA claimants are also forced to use prepayment cards, to prevent them spending their benefits on anything other than “essential” items?

Plus there’s the possibility being raised that workers could be made to pay £5 a week into a ‘personal welfare’ account run for profit by the private sector, in order to get higher benefits if they lose their job.

And, of course, there is the furore over David Freud saying that some disabled claimants are not worth the minimum wage. David Cameron has denied that this is official government policy – but how long before that changes?

We’d be interested to hear what you think the various parties have secretly got planned for claimants, should they get into power in 2015.

Comments  

#18 Matata2011 2014-10-29 11:07
It takes seconds to get struck by anything eg illness, accident anytime, anyplace home even as soon as you step out of your door,get into a car, train, bus you name it for anyone to get life changing serious health conditions, others are born that way, it's not their fault that they are disabled.No one is immortal, until these disability haters get their own sudden life changes to a disabled class & need that help, they will never stop."What goes round tends to come round"That will be the day
#17 carruthers 2014-10-28 00:16
suggested that 'UKIP' will reverse all of the Universal Credit policies - I really don't think so - Nigel Farage and his UKIP are Tories in 'sheep's' clothes also.
I also noticed another comment today - 'they are all scroungers'
That is what ... 'working people' feel.
I am not massively concerned over what the Kippers would do in government - because they aren't going to be in government. So, restoring the Death Penalty, repealing all the gay equality laws, getting rid of women priests (I have an acquaintance who is pro-UKIP because they are anti women priests) and all the other reactionary rubbish points are none of them relevant.

I too saw that comment "all scroungers", by someone who makes a point of making that sort of comment in the barren wastes of the BTL comment in the Indy (alas). He's a troll. I don't think very many people would, when sober, agree that all benefit claimants are scroungers. What struck me more was a comment I saw in the Daily Mail a couple of years ago.

"As for the disabled, I'm sorry for your plight, but I do not want to give you any of my money."

I think that phrase probably sums up the position of many people who think of themselves as "ordinary, decent, English" people. Of course, it divides the world into two clear separate camps - the disabled and the able-bodied - which doesn't reflect reality at all. And it assumes that no one crosses from one side to the other (except for "heroes").

Nonetheless, in the May 2015 election people will be voting with their grudges and I do not think that any party promising more financial help by the state for anyone sick or disabled is going to gain electoral advantage thereby.

The best we can hope for is a pro-NHS vote.
#16 tintack 2014-10-27 23:45
If anything, it was the Tories who allowed all and sundry to claim, and that was under Thatcher, who used IB (which I think was then called Invalidity Benefit) as a way of keeping the unemployment figures down. That was ended when the old benefit was replaced by Incapacity Benefit, which, contrary to popular myth, was not astonishingly easy to claim. By the time Labour won in 1997 Incapacity Benefit was a well established benefit, and the days of anyone and everyone claiming, as had been the case in the 80s, were long gone. There was, in short, no need to replace IB with ESA. If anything that reflects even more poorly on Labour, as they couldn't claim that there was a practical need for the change.

That said, Labour has pledged to reform the WCA, and even though they brought it in, there is a fair bit of opposition within the Labour party to the WCA. By contrast, the Tories were only too happy to carry on with it when they got in in 2010, and they show no signs of wanting to get rid of it.

One of the foremost reasons for the introduction of ESA and the WCA is the presence at the DWP of senior staff like Mansel Aylward and his connection to the murky world of UNUM and its bogus Biopsychosocial Model. That is a chapter in the sorry saga of the WCA which ought to be much more widely known about than it is.
#15 Richard Gregory 2014-10-27 17:32
There is a very good reason that Labour won't reverse the benefit changes that are in place and that's because they were responsible. Gordon Brown first tabled the proposal for ESA rather than the previous IB. Mind you, had Labour not let all and sundry claim IB in the first place then there wouldn't have had to be changes and those that really need the help now would still be able to get it. I thnk the current plan is to put all the sick, disabled and elderly into work, work them to death. They will save the benefits, save the pensions and have jobs available for everyone and anyone that wants to drop off the back of a trailer in Dover. I know that my degenerative conditions are getting worse, yet, despite also being a full time carer, I will still have to do work related activities (even though I am legally exempt!) and ultimately find a job as well as be a carer! That means that I will be doing more work than someone much fitter and/ or younger than me that doesn't have my conditions! Really, you couldn't make it up!
#14 Stephen David Winder 2014-10-26 19:28
Chris you're dead right! Have seen the GREEN manifesto myself &yes they are about the only one's who are offering some form of "Normality" should they gain power? However, I have never seen more Biased TV All you hear about is UKIP & god help us should they ever gain power. They will make the Tories look like Charity workers!
P.S. this by election in Heywood, was the first time I have ever voted Green, but, they shall certainly get my vote from now on.
#13 tintack 2014-10-26 18:51
Quoting Chris:
Being as I never gained any kind of benefits and denied state pension payout at 60 along with 530,000 women since 2013, no party offered me anything.

Now have found The Greens' 2015 manifesto pledge is the sole hope in England, as they offer a universal Citizen Income, non-means tested and non-withdrawable. Replacing the cruel benefits regime. Thnis Citizen Income offered by The Greens is enhanced for the disabled. The CI lasts until retirement age when state pension would be the same. Greens offer a CI the same as the basic tax allowance. OK that means my works pension would get hit by income tax, but the CI gives me food and fuel money that cannot be withdrawn. www.anastasia-england.me.uk


This is a perfect example of why our wretched electoral system needs to be changed. If we had some form of PR, I'd vote for the Greens without hesitation, but because of first past the post I'm going to have to hold my nose and vote Labour. The reason for that is that they have the best chance of ousting the Tories in my neck of the woods, and I regard getting rid of the Tories in May as absolutely essential.

If we had an electoral system that actually represented accurately how the public votes, I'm sure many more people would vote for the Greens. And it's precisely because of that that the established parties will do anything to avoid scrapping first past the post.
+1 #12 Chris 2014-10-26 12:16
Being as I never gained any kind of benefits and denied state pension payout at 60 along with 530,000 women since 2013, no party offered me anything.

Now have found The Greens' 2015 manifesto pledge is the sole hope in England, as they offer a universal Citizen Income, non-means tested and non-withdrawabl e. Replacing the cruel benefits regime. Thnis Citizen Income offered by The Greens is enhanced for the disabled. The CI lasts until retirement age when state pension would be the same. Greens offer a CI the same as the basic tax allowance. OK that means my works pension would get hit by income tax, but the CI gives me food and fuel money that cannot be withdrawn. www.anastasia-england.me.uk
+1 #11 tintack 2014-10-25 01:25
Quoting Paul Richards:
I also noticed another comment today - 'they are all scroungers'
That is what (because of Media misreporting & political spin) 'working people' feel - they have to get up early to go to work and work all the hours that God sends.
They forget also that by the grace of God, they could be in the same circumstances, - all it takes is the onset of heart trouble, or one of the many 'debilitating' diseases that are affecting the U.K. and they themselves could be facing putting in a claim for ESA - with it's WCA assessment (via ATOS etc) - of course, THEY are unaffected for now - but one day, they may have to face it!
They may then and then only, change their opinions when they have no money for 6 weeks and if this Government has it's way, no less than a six month's wait. Their bills and mortgage/rent will remain unpaid and they may well be driven to payday loans and doorstep lending companies. It could happen to THEM also!


Unfortunately, they only find out the hard way, if they find out at all, just how much the propaganda of the right-wing press has taken them for a ride. And of course, by then it's too late. They then find themselves on the receiving end of the baying mob's hostility, and discover that that's rather more uncomfortable than being one of those dishing it out.

The Tories and their friends in the press have used divide and rule tactics to turn parts of the population against each other, while those at the top go undisturbed despite tanking the economy. It's a sad fact that a great many people fall for these tactics hook, line and sinker.
+3 #10 Paul Richards 2014-10-23 20:00
Yes, Drizzle, I could not agree more.
This Government (nay, the Coalition!) could not have blotted their 'Eton Boy' copybook more - they have attacked the poor, they have attacked the sick and they have attacked the disabled relentlessly.
They are the 'Nazi' party in sheep's wool - they have ridden roughshod over all of our Countries Human Rights - and on top of all of this - I have today seen a 'comment' in the Independent website which suggested that 'UKIP' will reverse all of the Universal Credit policies - I really don't think so - Nigel Farage and his UKIP are Tories in 'sheep's' clothes also.
I also noticed another comment today - 'they are all scroungers'
That is what (because of Media misreporting & political spin) 'working people' feel - they have to get up early to go to work and work all the hours that God sends.
They forget also that by the grace of God, they could be in the same circumstances, - all it takes is the onset of heart trouble, or one of the many 'debilitating' diseases that are affecting the U.K. and they themselves could be facing putting in a claim for ESA - with it's WCA assessment (via ATOS etc) - of course, THEY are unaffected for now - but one day, they may have to face it!
They may then and then only, change their opinions when they have no money for 6 weeks and if this Government has it's way, no less than a six month's wait. Their bills and mortgage/rent will remain unpaid and they may well be driven to payday loans and doorstep lending companies. It could happen to THEM also!
#9 Drizzle 2014-10-23 16:34
Quoting Paul Richards:
And another one! - this time about Universal Credit amongst diverse other things - plus some extra nonsensical spouting from the likes of the now, well discredited IDS & Lord Freud - need I say any more!!

http://www.talktalk.co.uk/news/uk/article/reforms-helping-people-into-work/147288/


I didn't realise that to get Universal Credit claimants have to wait 6 weeks. Worse, the government are trying to change it to 6 months!!! It's appalling and mustn't be allowed to happen. We must make sure the Tories are voted out at the next election!
#8 Matata2011 2014-10-23 14:16
What's happened to my comment?
#7 Alan22 2014-10-23 09:04
Death camps. Labour camps would be too soft.
#6 Paul Richards 2014-10-22 20:44
And another one! - this time about Universal Credit amongst diverse other things - plus some extra nonsensical spouting from the likes of the now, well discredited IDS & Lord Freud - need I say any more!!

http://www.talktalk.co.uk/news/uk/article/reforms-helping-people-into-work/147288/
#5 Paul Richards 2014-10-22 19:54
Hi all,
Here's another one to get your teeth into!
It would be best to make sure that you're not a NEET or one of the young unemployed - (probably) after the next Gen. Election!
Lord Tebbit in his wisdom has a suggestion for these groups to be forced into. If so, you could end up having to pick weeds!!
I am sure that this is the true feeling of most of the Tories -
The Nasty Party is back - nay, the Nazi party!

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/10/22/lord-tebbit-weeds-unemployment_n_6028114.html?n
-3 #4 Bob 2014-10-22 17:15
Means test the state pension.
+4 #3 Stephen David Winder 2014-10-22 15:37
Listening to the Tory Conference, it is evident that should they gain office in 2015, they only have more cuts to offer the Disabled/Sick, etc. ---but, Plenty of it, whilst they give themselves & other Millionaires more Tax breaks?
The labour Party also have no ambitions to amend/reverse these savage cuts imposed by this "Botched together" Government, which doesn't surprise me, as since changing to New Labour their manifesto's are more Tory?
The one surprise I do have is in the way the Green Party have adopted Old Labour's stance on certain things & appear to be wanting to quash most of the Austerity measures put in place & have a more FAIR system, whereby the Rich pay their fair share? This will only happen should they get into Gov. which at present is unlikely?
I am sickened by the savage cuts that have been awarded to the less well off whilst the rich get richer. ALL Morals have gone in this Country if this is the way we treat the infirmed, whilst sending MILLION's abroad for ailing economies?? Whatever happened to see to your own first?
+5 #2 remarx 2014-10-22 14:41
To my cynical (based on experience) mind, it more than likely that if the Tories win again the prepayment benefit card will be forced on some - if not all - benefit claimants.

I recently wrote to my MP (Greg Clark) about my disgust at planned prepayment cards. In his reply he states that to offer those with addictions a chance to help themselves by volunteering for a
prepayment card is "humane". Perhaps it is, but I cannot help but feel using the word 'humane' hints at the human treatment of another species.

The Tory attitude towards benefit claimants has become almost spiteful, giving us a glimpse of their Victorian attitude towards the poor. The prepayment card - if enforced - is the 21st century equivalent of food coupons or rationing for a singular group of society. It is appalling, stripping all dignity from the recipients.

Let us hope that the Tories do not get the chance to do more damage next May.
+5 #1 Georgina Harrison 2014-10-22 13:56
To be perfectly honest, I don't think there is any real 'competition' between the Parties, on this topic. I firmly believe they are all 'pretending' at having different views. We, the general public, are not priveledged to discover their plans, until they are rolled out, and already set in stone. No matter if theres hiccups along the way, they will remain firm on their decisions. The Country has become divided, with a situation of Us & Them. For Them, we are just pawns in a game, and They have not a clue on how people should be treated, and to be honest, I don't think they care, either.

You need to be logged in to comment

Free, fortnightly PIP, ESA and UC Updates

Our fortnightly bulletin, with over 80,000 subscribers, is the UK's leading source of benefits news. Find out what's changing, how it affects you and how to prepare. Our mailing list is securely managed by icontact in the US.

Form Heading