If you have a long-term illness or disability, Labour’s Manifesto leak offers you HOPE

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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20 thoughts on “If you have a long-term illness or disability, Labour’s Manifesto leak offers you HOPE

  1. Rusty

    Nothing wrong with this draft document! Makes me happy to see a light at the end of the tunnel! JC for pm!

  2. joanna

    What about getting rid of Universal credit altogether? It is still useless and if rolled out will still cause severe hardships!!

  3. Fibro confused

    As a disabled person it’s more than I could ever have dreamed of, your right about Debbie Abrahams she really does care, it’s not for show. I’ve had some lovely replies from her trying to offer myself and others hope. She Jeremy John etc know how good the system could be for disabled people encouraging rather than demonising.
    They intend on removing the brown envelope fear, pretty please people vote Labour. It’s not poppycock they won’t bankrupt the country. It’s all simple economics invest in creating well paid jobs in good forward looking businesses and the tax returns increase and keep increasing and paying into the system for years, that’s how you get rid of debt and look after people at the same time. It really isn’t rocket science.

  4. joanna

    Oh and replacing jobcentre managers would go a ways to bring back faith in the system, the “I was only following orders is very tired and nasty!!! Not one manager should get away with what they have been doing, there are always ways of doing things without making people suffer and die!!!

  5. Jenny Hambidge

    I rarely see the argument that relieving sick and disabled people and poor and disadvantaged people of legitimate support- in short, austerity- removes the amount of money in circulation. Whole communities get poorer. Those who receive benefits spend to the extent of their income- we don’t stash it away in offshore accounts and remove it from the UK. Thoes people who support and care for us, from hospital staff to Social carers are also being cut under this Tory government- so they have less money to spend too. Glad to see Labour announcing increase to Carers allowance.

  6. Dez

    Yes there are some very good objectives to rebalance a much fairer society where we all share together. The Brexit keeps overriding these very good initiatives even though the Brexit has been agreed to launch without the need for an election.. other than to kick when down. Appreciate some tuning to be done. Concerned about the increase in corporate tax rates needed to pay for these nice to haves as the last thing labour market needs is for the businesses to start pruning back to pay for this corp tax increase. No probs with taking from those who are on top of the gravey train but still hide their money off shore. Would have probably increased the no tax increases protection for those over £100k before we lose even more next generation wealth generators overseas. The middle class management class have been hit by this Cons governments higher tax starting value freeze for to long. We need max turnout this time was sadden by so many voters who were fed up or not bothered to vote at the local elections. I really hope this apathy does not continue into this very important next vote…… the Tories will certainly be out in force and score well in the turnout stakes……..this is the last chance to get this Tory situation sorted out.

  7. Stu

    Good News indeed.
    The Tories almost killed me off with their policies, this glimmer of hope is exactly what we disabled need to lift our spirits and may even aid our motovation.

    Help and support beats being continuously hammered any day !

  8. Barry Davies

    Well the removal of the items that are rotten is great but we would have to see the small print on the replacement before welcoming it with open arms.

  9. Zippi

    Some paper said that £abour will take us back to the 1970s. As I recall, the ’70s were not so bad. There was a strange thing called community.
    By the way, I’m assuming that UC is Universal Credit (which should be scrapped) but what, the poop, is LCW?

      1. Zippi

        Thanks. I do wish that people would write what they mean. We haven’t all been to this imaginary initialism school.

  10. autismandate

    The Tories were quite happy to print uncosted money and pump it into the banks at the expense of the vulnerable and disabled. Tories can’t say labour funding of people of Britain Ltd is not costed.

  11. Terry Stevens

    I am epileptic, I am claiming ESA & used to claim DLA. I now get told that I am not entitled to PIP, despite still having epilepsy & still having to take medication to control my seizures. Employers won’t employ me because they keep making up reasons to get around my epilepsy, like I’m ‘Too Experienced’ or ‘Too Qualified’. Even today after being out of a permanent job for over 15 years.

  12. Jo

    All fantastic news but one thing I would like to know, not seen it mentioned anywhere….are Labour going to kick Unum out from having any influence in government?

    Brought in by Peter Lilley in the 90’s they’ve infected our social security system with their bile for too long.

    They need to go!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Good point. Considering Labour will be ditching all the ideas Unum brought in, I would hope so. Will try to ask.

  13. John Pearson

    Hi Mike, your article leaves me a little confused about whether the scrapping of bedroom tax and sanctions will apply to unemployed people or only to those with long term illnesses or disabilities.

    My confusion arises from your article’s beginning with an image of a document with the heading “Labour offers hope if you have long term illnesses and disabilities”.

    What is the source of this document?

    It sits above an extract from pages 18-19 of the leaked manifesto which has the heading “Dignity for those who cannot work”.

    Is “Dignity for those who cannot work” being cast as applying only to those who cannot work due to long term illness or disability and excluding unemployed people and, if so, where and when was the decision taken to cast it as such?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Don’t be confused – but then, I don’t think you are, really.
      I think you’re just (rather desperately) trying to nitpick something that is self-explanatory.
      So the document is, of course, the leaked version of the draft Labour Manifesto for the 2017 election, as published, in full, on the Guardian‘s website (but any newspaper that published it will do.
      If the Bedroom Tax and sanctions are scrapped, they will be scrapped altogether. There is no suggestion that they will only be scrapped for part of the population and I wonder why you try to suggest it.
      Likewise, “Dignity for those who cannot work” is self-explanatory. Are you honestly trying to suggest that Labour won’t review the “rape clause” on child tax credits if the mother is able-bodied?
      The headline highlighted people with long-term illnesses and disabilities because there are 13 million of them and they need to know that Labour offers them their best hope of surviving for the next five years.

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