The Liberal Democrats have published their election manifesto today, including their promises in relation to welfare benefits.  These include an undertaking to bring the WCA back in-house, stop unnecessary PIP assessments, end sanctions and increase carer’s allowance.  The manifesto says:

We will:

  • Tackle child poverty by removing the two-child limit and the benefit cap.
  • Set a target of ending deep poverty within a decade, and establish an independent commission to recommend further annual increases in Universal Credit to ensure that support covers life’s essentials, such as food and bills.
  • Support pensioners by protecting the triple lock so that pensions always rise in line with inflation, wages or 2.5% – whichever is highest.
  • Ensure that women born in the 1950s are finally treated fairly and properly compensated.
  • Give unpaid carers the support they deserve by increasing Carer’s Allowance and expanding it to more carers, and stop pursuing carers for old overpayments of Carer’s Allowance.

In addition, we will:

Repair the broken benefits safety net by:

  • Reducing the wait for the first payment of Universal Credit from five weeks to five days.
  • Scrapping the bedroom tax.
  • Replacing the sanctions regime with an incentive-based scheme to help people into work.
  • Ending the young parent penalty for under-25s by restoring the full rate of Universal Credit for all parents regardless of age.

Increase Carer’s Allowance and expand eligibility for it by:

  • Raising the amount carers can earn and introducing an earnings taper to end the unfair cliff-edge.
  • Reducing the number of hours’ care per week required.
  • Extending it to carers in full-time education.

Reverse the Conservatives’ cut to support payments for parents whose partners have died.

Establish an Independent Living Taskforce to help people live independently in their own homes, with more choice and control over their lives.

Make the benefits system work better for disabled people by:

  • Giving disabled people and organisations representing them a stronger voice in the design of benefits policies and processes.
  • Bringing Work Capability Assessments in-house.
  • Reforming Personal Independence Payment assessments to make the process more transparent and stop unnecessary reassessments, and end the use of informal assessments.

Give everyone the chance to enjoy a decent retirement by:

  • Developing measures to end the gender pension gap in private pensions and ensure working-age carers can save properly for retirement.
  • Improving the State Pension system by investing in helplines to ensure quicker responses to queries and resolution of underpayments.
  • Ending the scandal of lost top-up payments by overhauling the processing system and providing proper receipts.

 Fix the broken Statutory Sick Pay system.

 Require pension funds and managers to show that their portfolio investments are consistent with the Paris Agreement.

Ensure that military compensation for illness or injury does not count towards means testing for benefits.

You can read the full manifesto here.

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    SkyB · 2 hours ago
    Very positive, and humane instead of the punishment of the sick and poor that the Tories have been relentlessly carrying out for 14 years. This is what I will be voting for, and hoping that where I live the blue wall will fall and become orange again.
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    BirtyB · 13 hours ago
    I sent an email from SCOPE asking all the parliamentary candidates to outline their plans for people with disabilities, and the welfare system. Up to now only the Liberal Democrat candidate has responded. I am considering voting for them, but it might be a wasted vote. I live in a red wall constituency that went blue in 2019.
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    James abram · 14 hours ago
    The lib Dems supported the Tories in 2010 including the" welfare reform act" 2012 which included the dreaded bedroom tax ,the welfare reform act led directly led to the deaths of many vulnerable people ,nick clegg,David Cameron ,and Ian Duncan smith should be held to account for crimes against the most vulnerable in society.
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    Rose · 16 hours ago
    Both the Lib Dems and the Greens seem to have an actual understanding of what needs to change in order to provide real support for disabled claimants and their carers. 

    I'm voting Green because in our new constituency they have the highest chance of beating the Conservatives and we desperately need a really good MP to represent the needs of this deprived area.
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    D. deBoeck · 16 hours ago
    I support everything that they propose but wonder how long it will take them to implement them and how they would be able to pay for it. 
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    olwyn · 17 hours ago
     i will be voting liberal seems our best option
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    Jonathan H. · 17 hours ago
    The suggestion that the Tories were contemplating yet another overhaul of visa led benefits to effectively not offer regular payments but advice on getting a job and one off purchaces  for a few aids like a stick or wheelchair is no fair way to deal with anyone who has increased cost due to disability, reliance on friends, family and others for assistance and other cash related difficulties. A disabled person is likely to be in a lower paying job if they can get one, and if you are in the older demographic with failing mobility, it’s near impossible. No matter what employers are told to do with rules on employment, it’s easy to drop you after interview. Seen as a burden of risk and extra effort compared with others. I have std pip for mobility and care, and that was a downgrade from DLA, where I had higher mobility allowance. The Tories have no new money and want to cut the bill, so the only way is to raise the bar yet again and offer alternatives to cash. I pay more tax in than I get back by a long way and I’m lucky I have a reasonable employer at a university. However with declining health and just 65, the future is bleak for retirement. I can imagine it now, free stick and bus pass, possibly a train rail card with the blue badge, and that’s it. So much for compassion and care. 
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    Jill Kerr · 19 hours ago
    Well.. I was going to vote Labour.. to get rid of Sunak and the Conservatives especially Mel Stride.. over the last week I have been slowly realising that the Liberal party is probably a better option ( although any party would be better than the shambolic government we’ve had.. especially with the seeming war they’ve had on the sick and disabled and single parents.. now I’ve read this I’m definitely voting LIBERAL.. 
    JILL. BRISTOL. 
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    Fred · 19 hours ago
    Lib dems incentives back into work...really. 
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    Andrew Currie · 20 hours ago
    I can't see how bringing WCA's in house will improve matters. The DWP worked with WCA contractors to make getting benefits from assessments as hard as possible. If the assessment isn't what the DWP want, they just alter it. I expect DWP assessors will still get bonuses for finding claimants fit for work.
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    Jo · 20 hours ago
    At the moment Lib Dem’s are looking in my eyes HOWEVER as others have already said I don’t actually trust any of them !!
    Each time the GE looms they all say what they are going to do then once elected cancel every single thing with excuses.
    Personally I think this present government and Parliament need a bloody good shake up before they totally ruin our already broken country !
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    Jane Perry · 20 hours ago
    This time they are getting my vote. I am sickened by the two party system. So they won't form  a government.  But for me it is a vote for compassion and sanity. 

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    Margaret · 20 hours ago
    Some people have commented that as LDs won't win overall a vote for them is wasted. I disagree.  They can still challenge proposals,  raise issues, inform the debate etc and voters can help with their own pressure groups. Ultimately if you agree with their approach then the more votes they get, the more they can push for reform.  And I would like to be as close as possible to Europe and have proportional voting. Both of which are LD policy. A fairer voting system will mean more balanced and longer term measures. 
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    Colin · 21 hours ago
    Allways wonder why any part writes a manifesto when they know they will never run the country. It will be Labour ot the torries who will be elected, allways has been and neither of them will honour their promises and do as they please and look after themselves. Both change everything once there elected so manifestos and promises are worthless and only their to get them elected in the first place. They all con the public.
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    Gary Bowman · 21 hours ago
    I'm really worried at the moment. PIP is the only benefit i claim. I have no right elbow, a plated left wrist. In pain constantly. Depression, anxiety, PTSD and epilepsy.  I was assessed by the local government pension scheme to access my pension.  The decision took almost 18 months, with appointments with doctors and nurses. I was granted my pension 8 years early. I don't leave the house if I can help it, maybe once a month to collect meds if I'm desperate and can't find anybody to collect for me, generally I can. I'm 64 in December, my conditions aren't going to change. So, yes, I am genuinely terrified, from the noises coming from the Labour party. I believe that they are going to allow the changes to go through quickly so that they can blame the Tories! 
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    Barbara · 21 hours ago
    I might sound cynical but it's easy to lay out all these plans which sound good when realistically you have no chance of delivering them as you won't be the ruling party.
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    Trevor Synge-Perrin · 21 hours ago
    this sounds excellent. what a pity the Lib Dems haven't a rat's chance in Hell of being elected here in W-S-M BS, let alone nationally. This is simply bringing back the ideas of justice & respect which all parties supported before Thatcher, But with awareness of expanding needs in a changing society.
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    ArchiesMum01 · 21 hours ago
    There's obviously been a lot of thought gone into this on how to make life better for those unable to work through age, illness  disability or circumstances & that in itself is a real change. I totally agree with scrapping the sanctions placed on some claimants & have for a long time believed that benefit assessment should be done in house, I would hope that it can be decided that a Doctor or specialist/consultant will be involved in that process as well, I think it's great that carers are finally being acknowledged & supported. As for cutting down the wait time for 1st UC payment, I think there is still so much nonsense written & quoted on the subject.... You Don't have to wait 5 weeks if you let them know that you need the money asap as you have no other money... Mine came through in a week 
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    Sue · 21 hours ago
    We know they cannot get in but if they get enough seats they should be able to hold the feet of any new government to the fire and try and get more humanitarian policies in place for the sick, disabled and senior. 
    Thank you, Lib Dems. 
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    softmarg · 21 hours ago
    Lib Dem worth voting, but Tories have maintained a good GDP and improvements in GDP growth for UK.
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