Perhaps the people who have been arguing about the Labour Manifesto leak should shut up for a while and read it.

This Writer has no problem whatsoever with a document written by an organisation that promises to “Scrap the Work Capability and Personal Independence Payment assessments and replace them with a personalised, holistic assessment process which provides each individual with a tailored plan, building on their strengths and addressing barriers”.

I applaud the (draft) announcement that Labour will “End the pointless stress of reassessments for people with severe long-term conditions“.

I welcome the plan to “Scrap the punitive sanctions regime“.

And I salute the promise to “Scrap the bedroom tax” (yes, the bedroom tax! “Spare room subsidy” – what an insult).

Anybody who expressed doubts that Labour would follow through on its promises can start eating their words.

And there’s more. Labour would:

  • Increase ESA by £30 per week for those in the work-related activity group and repeal cuts in UC LCW.
  • Uprate carer’s allowance by £11 to the level of Jobseekers Allowance.
  • Implement the court decision on PIP so that there is real parity of esteem between those with physical and mental health conditions.
  • Reinstate housing benefit for under-21s.
  • Scrap bereavement support payment cuts.
  • Review the cuts to work allowances in Universal Credit.
  • Review the decision to limit tax credit and Universal Credit payments to the first two children in a family (the so-called “rape clause”).
  • Commission a report into expanding the Access to Work programme.

Perhaps crucially, the party would “change how Jobcentre Plus staff are performance managed” – so DWP employees are no longer encouraged to find spurious ways of pushing the vulnerable off their books?

“Labour supports a social model of disability. People may have a condition or an impairment but are disabled by society. We need to remove the barriers in society that restrict opportunities and choices for disabled people,” the draft document states.

“We will change the culture of the social security system, from one that demonises people to one that is supportive and enabling.”

Bravo.

Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary is Debbie Abrahams. This Writer has known her for several years now, and always considered her to be a person of strong professional integrity who would act on her promises.

This proves it.

If YOU have a long-term illness or disability, this is all the reason you need to vote Labour on June 8. If you don’t, but know somebody who does, please share this information with them.

And if you aren’t registered to vote, make sure you do so before May 22 by following this link.

Here is the full extract, taken from pages 18-19 of the draft Labour Manifesto after it was leaked to the press:

Dignity for those who cannot work

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 for support.

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 bereavement support payment cuts.

We will also review the cuts to work allowances in Universal Credit, and also review the decision to limit tax credit and Universal Credit payments to the first two children in a family.

The Tories have completely failed on the promise of making work pay, of tackling the barriers to work faced by disabled people.

Labour supports a social model of disability. People may have a condition or an impairment but are disabled by society. We need to remove the barriers in society that restrict opportunities and choices for disabled people.

We will build on the previous Labour government’s commitment to disabled people 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 disabled people through a new Social Security Bill published in our first year of office to:

Increase ESA by £30 per week for those in the work-related activity group and repeal cuts in UC LCW.
Uprate carer’s allowance by £11 to the level of Jobseekers Allowance.
Implement the court decision on 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 which provides each individual with a tailored plan, building on their strengths and addressing barriers.
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 to one that is supportive and enabling.

As well as scrapping the Conservatives’ punitive sanctions regime, we will change how Jobcentre Plus staff are performance managed.

Labour will strengthen access to justice for disabled people 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 disabled women is reported annually with national action plans to address these.

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