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Well, with the exception of the SNP, all the party manifestos are out now. Will their offers to claimants make a difference to how you vote?

Two weeks ago we asked whether benefits policies would be enough to swing your vote in favour of any particular party.

We had a lot of responses, but at that time we had very little information on what parties were prepared to offer to claimants.

Now we’ve seen the manifestos, we’ve set out the basics below. But will they affect your choice? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Brexit Party

The Brexit party’s ‘contract’ was almost a benefits free zone. Though they did say:

Though they did say they would:

  • Support those who have paid into the system with accelerated payment processes (five-week maximum), and continue to root out fraud.
  • Undertake a 12-month review of the system and bring in reforms within two years

More about the Brexit Party manifesto

 

Conservative Party

The Conservative manifesto contained very little about benefits, though it did include the dubious claim that “. . .we will continue our efforts through the tax and benefits system to reduce poverty, including child poverty.”

Other than that they say that:

  • “. . . we will do more to make sure that Universal Credit works for the most vulnerable.”
  • “We will also end the benefit freeze, while making sure it pays to work more hours.”
  • “. . . we will reduce the number of reassessments a disabled person must go through when a significant change in condition is unlikely.”
  • “We will publish a National Strategy for Disabled People before the end of 2020. This will look at ways to improve the benefits system, opportunities and access for disabled people in terms of housing, education, transport and jobs.”

More about the Conservative Party manifesto

 

Green Party

The Green party say they would introduce a “Universal Basic Income (UBI), an unconditional financial payment to everyone at a level above their subsistence needs”

The adult rate of UBI would be £89 a week.

The pensioner rate would be £178 a week.

The manifesto also includes undertakings to:

  • Replace Universal Credit and the cruel benefit sanctions regime.
  • Increasing the Living Wage to £12 and extending it to workers aged between 16 and 21.
  • Provide a supplement to UBI for people with disabilities. This will help restore the benefits withdrawn from disabled people over the past ten years, providing more financial security.
  • Continue to pay a full Carers Allowance to carers, on top of the UBI payment

More about the Green Party manifesto

 

Labour Party

There’s no question that the Labour Party are offering the most to claimants, too much to include everything here.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Stop moving claimants onto universal credit immediately, before scrapping it entirely once they have designed a new system.
  • “stop the dehumanising Work Capability and PIP Assessments, which repeatedly and falsely find ill or disabled people fit to work, and make sure all assessments are done in-house.”
  • “increase Employment and Support Allowance by £30 per week for those in the work-related activity group.”
  • “increasing the Carer’s Allowance to the level of the Jobseeker’s Allowance.”
  • “raise the basic rate of support for children with disabilities to the level of Child Tax Credits.”
  • “ensure that severely disabled people without a formal carer receive extra support to enable them to meet the extra costs they inevitably face.”
  • “scrapping the benefit cap and the two child limit”
  • “scrapping the bedroom tax and increasing Local Housing Allowance”

More about the Labour Party manifesto

 

Lib Dems

The Lib Dems, like Labour, have gone out of their way to make a comprehensive offer to claimants.

The party says they aim to improve the benefits system by, amongst other things:

  • Reversing the cuts to Employment Support Allowance for those in the work-related activity group.
  • Ending Work Capability Assessments and replace them with a new system that is run by local authorities and based on real-world tests.
  • Introducing an incentive-based scheme to replace the current sanctions system.
  • Reducing the wait for the first payment from five weeks to five days.
  • Tackling child poverty by removing the two-child limit and the benefits cap.
  • Making work pay by increasing work allowances and introducing a second earner work allowance.
  • Reforming Universal Credit to be more supportive of the self-employed.
  • Increasing Local Housing Allowance in line with average rents in an area.
  • Abolishing the bedroom tax and introduce positive incentives for people to downsize.

More about the Lib Dem manifesto

 

Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru is another party that has given little thought to how to enthuse claimants.

There is almost nothing in their manifesto for claimants other than undertakings to:

  • Introduce a new £35 a week payment for every child in low income families.
  • Introduce a new tax credit of up to £25 a week to households paying over 30% of their income on private rent.
  • Permanently remove the bedroom tax.

More about the Plaid Cymru manifesto

 

Comments  

+1 #4 Susan Morrison 2019-11-29 13:53
I am too cynical to believe manifesto promises. I only hope that the Scottish Government are never given more devolved powers over benefits as they poison everything they are involved with, the Health Service, Justice System, Education and Transport to name but a few.
+5 #3 Imagine 2019-11-27 12:42
More draconian tests were first introduced by Tory Minister Peter Lilley in the mid-Nineties when he employed 'advisers' from the US insurance industry. New Labour's record is shameful but this all started with the Tories.

Fortunately, Labour is now under new management. Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have a long history of campaigning with and voting in Parliament for the interests of the sick and disabled. They campaigned and repeatedly voted against the current disgusting regime of Work Capability Assessments, benefit cuts and austerity. I trust them because their record proves that they are on our side.

The Tory/Lib Dem Coalition brought in many of the cruelest cuts. LibDem leader Swinson voted for every last one from the Bedroom Tax to harsher benefit sanctions.

These callous attacks on the sick and disabled were a political choice. The Tories have run up more debt in the last nine years than every previous Labour government combined. The Tories can find money to bail out bankers and spivs, bomb Libya and Syria, cut taxes for their rich mates, bung a Billion to the DUP, and fund endless Brexit adverts.
Labour will instead use our money to support the sick and disabled, support pensioners, rebuild our public services and invest in our infrastructure.

Ignore the media smears and misinformation. Only Labour will restore dignity and respect to the sick and disabled and rebuild a functioning social security system. I will have no hesitation in voting for Labour's positive and transformative Manifesto on Thursday 12th December.
-6 #2 Paul 2019-11-27 10:10
It's all very well saying labour is the only one who will help the sick and disabled but if anyone is going to believe Labour's promises then they need more help than can be given here.
Let's not forget it was Labour who setup the DWP (As mentioned by Steve in a previous newsletter) and Labour who engaged ATOS (Now called Independant Assessment Services) to persecute recipients of benefits so what makes you think they will do away with it and Capita? Just more vote grabbing Lies from Labour I'm afraid, you only have to look at their manifesto to realise they cannot cost the £83 billion of spending pledged so if you think they are going to do anything about the DWP forget it!
The only thing Labour will do is sink the UK into a debt situation that will never be recovered and bankruptcy, where do you think the Sick and disabled will come in the queue then?
If I were to suggest a vote it would be for the Brexit Party as once Brexit is done there will be a lot more money in our economy and it will filter down to the genuine sick and disabled.
+2 #1 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2019-11-25 21:16
The only two parties that have pledged to help us all, is Labour and Lib Dems.

Labour will pull more voters, and pack a punch at the polls. But bot the Lib Dems.

So from a claimants perspective seems that Labour is the only party that may or could help us all.

The rest excluding Lib dems, just don't give a dam.

As far as the Tories go, there attitude hasn't changed, their stance is firm, so for them and the DWP it's business as usual, meaning more misery is on the horizon.


And the billions they have magicaly conjured up for Brexit and this GE and their pledges will be paid for by us the ill/sick/disabled.


Tories will be picking at the bones to pull that money back, not the elite or multi billionaires, just you and I the poor people.

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