Labour Manifesto 2017:
Poverty in Britain is rising due to the Conservatives’ attempts to balance the books on the backs of the poorest. They have slashed social security over the last seven years, leaving more people in poverty, subject to a punitive sanctions regime, and reliant on food banks.
Labour will act immediately to end the worst excesses of the Conservative government’s changes. We will:
- Scrap the punitive sanctions regime
- Scrap the Bedroom Tax
- Reinstate Housing Benefit for under-21s
- Scrap cuts to Bereavement Support Payment.
The cuts to work allowances in Universal Credit (UC), and the decision to limit tax credit and UC payments to the first two children in a family, are an attack on low-income families and will increase child poverty. Labour will reform and redesign UC, ending six-week delays in payment and the ‘rape clause’.
With nearly four million children currently living in poverty, the majority in working families, we will commit to tackle child poverty with a new Child Poverty Strategy.
The Tories have completely failed on their promise of making work pay and on tackling the barriers to work faced by people with disabilities.
Labour supports a social model of disability. People may have a condition or an impairment but they are disabled by society. We need to remove the barriers in society that restrict opportunities and choices for people with disabilities.
We will build on the previous Labour government’s commitment to people with disabilities in 2009 as signatories to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and incorporate it into UK law.
Labour will repeal the following cuts in social security support to people with disabilities through a new Social Security Bill published in our first year in office. We will:
- Increase Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by £30 per week for those in the work-related activity group, and repeal cuts in the UC limited capacity for work element.
- Increase Carer’s Allowance by £11 to the level of Jobseekers’ Allowance.
- Implement the court decision on Personal Independence Payment (PIP) so that there is real parity of esteem between those with physical and mental-health conditions.
- Scrap the Work Capability and Personal Independence Payment assessments and replace them with a personalised, holistic assessment process that provides each individual with a tailored plan, building on their strengths and addressing barriers. Labour will end the privatisation of assessments.
- End the pointless stress of reassessments for people with severe long-term conditions.
- Commission a report into expanding the Access to Work programme.
We will change the culture of the social security system, from one that demonises people not in work to one that is supportive and enabling.
As well as scrapping the Conservatives’ punitive sanctions regime, we will change how job centre Plus staff are performance-managed.
Labour will strengthen access to justice for people with disabilities by enhancing the 2010 Equality Act, enabling discrimination at work to be challenged. We will ensure that under the Istanbul Convention, disability hate crime and violence against women with disabilities is reported annually, with national actions plans to address these issues.