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:
- 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.“
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.