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Welfare Reform pledges from the key Parties

These are the welfare reform pledges made by the key political parties in their manifesto's for the December 2019 general election:
 

CONSERVATIVE
 

  • Continue to protect the vulnerable.
  • Increase benefits in line with inflation from April 2020.
  • “Instead of playing politics with the incomes of the lowest-paid, Conservatives will get Brexit done, level up the country and address the cost of living across it.“


LABOUR
 

  • Scrap Universal Credit and introduce an emergency package of reforms.
  • Immediately stop moving people onto UC.
  • Guarantee a minimum standard of living.
  • Make housing cost payments directly to landlords.
  • Remove the five week wait.
  • Introduce an interim payments based on half an estimated monthly entitlement.
  • Introduce fortnightly payments.
  • Suspend the current sanctions regime.
  • Ensure that employment support is positive, not punitive.
  • Scrap the Benefit Cap.
  • Scrap the Two Child Limit, so ending the ‘rape clause’.
  • Pay childcare costs upfront.
  • End the “digital barrier” and offer telephone, face to face and outreach support (recruiting 5000 additional advisers).
  • Scrap the Bedroom Tax.
  • Increase the Local Housing Allowance.
  • Increase Employment and Support Allowance by £30 per week for those in the work-related activity group.
  • 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.
  • Increase Carer’s Allowance to the level of the Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Abolish PIP assessments.
  • Abolish work capability assessments.
  • Stop Pension Age rises beyond 66.


LIB DEM
 

  • Reduce the wait for the first payment of UC from five weeks to five days.
  • Remove the Two Child Limit.
  • Remove the Benefits Cap.
  • Increase work allowances and introducing a second earner work allowance.
  • Establish a legal right to food
  • Reform Universal Credit to be more supportive of the self-employed.
  • Increase Local Housing Allowance in line with average rents in an area.
  • Abolish the Bedroom Tax and introduce positive incentives for people to downsize.
  • Separate employment support from benefits administration.
  • Introduce an incentive-based scheme to replace the current sanctions system.
  • Reverse the cuts to Employment Support Allowance for those in the work-related activity group.
  • End Work Capability Assessments and replace them with a new system that is run by local authorities and based on real-world tests.
  • Reinstate the Independent Living Fund.
  • Overhaul the Bereavement Allowance to give more support and to extend it to unmarried couples when a parent dies.
  • Ensure that the women born in the 1950s are properly compensated for not being notified of changes to the state pension age.
  • Address inequalities in pensions law for those in same-sex relationships.
  • Use the principles of Individual Placement and Support to provide the help needed by people with mental health conditions.


GREEN
 

  • Phase in (by 2025) a Universal Basic Income – an unconditional financial payment to everyone at a level above their subsistence needs. It will be paid to everyone unconditionally without regard to employment status.
  • Replace UC and JSA (and “a large range of variously means-tested benefits” with the UBI.
  • The UBI would be (initially) £89 per week for working age people, with extra for families; or £178 a week for pensioners.
  • UBI for families would be: For families with an income of under £50,000 per year - an additional supplement of £70 per week for each of their first two children and a further £50 per week for each additional child.
  • Families with an income of over £50,000 per year will receive smaller additional supplements per child, with the amount decreasing further the more a family earns.
  • Finance this by reforms to Income Tax to ensure the wealthiest are taxed on their full wealth, not just income; make up the balance with a Carbon Tax


SNP
 

  • Tackle the five-week delay in getting a payment.
  • Scrap the benefits freeze.
  • Lead the fight against the Two Child Limit on tax credits and the associated rape clause.
  • Establish the Best Start Grant.
  • Introduce the Scottish Child Payment.
  • Call for UK child poverty targets.
  • Establish a UK Poverty and Inequality Commission.
  • Call for the UK government to match their £10 a week Child Payment.