Labour announces it will abolish DWP and re-establish DSS – in Iain Duncan Smith’s constituency

I used to work at the Department for Social Security, many years ago, and I have friends from those days who are what you may consider experts on developments in the benefit system since then.

They say the problems with the Department for Work and Pensions, which replaced it, was that it took too much of its ethos from the Employment Service and those parts of the Department of Education and Employment that were also merged into the new department.

Apparently these organisations did not understand that some people simply cannot be shoehorned into any old job that happens to be available – especially if they have long-term illnesses and/or disabilities; it simply wasn’t part of their culture.

My friends said there was no way to make the service work for benefit claimants with such conditions while it was administered by the DWP.

They insisted that the only way to provide a service that worked for the people, rather than against them, was to restore the DSS.

So it is hugely to Labour’s credit that it has announced a plan to scrap the DWP and bring back the DSS – and the decision to reveal this policy in the Chingford constituency of Iain Duncan Smith, architect of so much misery for sick and otherwise-vulnerable people, was a masterstroke.

Addressing a rally in Chingford and Woodford Green, the Labour leader will say: “It’s time to end this cruelty. So today I can tell you that Labour will scrap Universal Credit. And we will replace the Department for Work and Pensions with a Department for Social Security – this will provide real security.

[Source: Labour will scrap ‘inhumane’ Universal Credit, Corbyn vows – LabourList]

You don’t have to look far to find hundreds of stories of people suffering because of the unmitigated disaster of Universal Credit. Single-mum Lauren and her baby who went without food, or Kirsty who had to walk 13 miles to and from work because she couldn’t afford the bus fare, or Philip who tragically committed suicide earlier this year while waiting for a Universal Credit payment.

Over half of the people claiming Universal Credit are going without food and losing sleep over fears about their finances, according to Citizens Advice, and the demand for food banks has surged in areas where families have been relying on the Universal Credit system the longest. Some women are even taking up sex work to make ends meet.

The next Labour government will scrap Universal Credit and replace it with a social security system designed to end poverty, based on principles of dignity and universalism. The next Labour government will take action immediately and end the worst aspects of Universal Credit and abolish the two-child limit, which under the Tories is set to push up to 300,000 more children into poverty by 2024, and end the five-week wait.

Labour will abolish the five-week wait and introduce an interim payment after two weeks, based on half an estimated monthly entitlement.

Labour will immediately suspend the Tories’ punitive sanctions regime that has eroded trust in the social security system and people’s right to support. Instead, we’ll replace it with a new system that emphasises tailored support, rather than meting out rigid requirements and punishments when they are not met.

[Source: Universal Credit has destroyed people’s lives – it’s time to scrap it – LabourList]

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No Comments

  1. stevedavidh September 28, 2019 at 12:04 am - Reply

    I sincerely hope that Labour’s excellent PPC Faiza Shaheen defeats IDS at the next GE

  2. Grey Swans September 28, 2019 at 12:17 am - Reply

    No mention of a separate Department of Pensions. No mention of returning Pension Credit to the I Daniel Blakes without a works pension, who fall out of work, from age 50, mostly due to ill health, with least chance of a new job.

    Pension Credit did not require actively seeking work nor attending Jobcentre, so saving on pointless admin in Jobcentre.

    Grey Swans demands into Labour’s election manifesto, the vote winning policy of –

    – Basic Income £168.60 per week to men and women from age 50 to pension age, who fall out of work and have no works pensions.

    Billions lay unclaimed each year of Pension Credit by older people and it was abolished for age entitlement from age 60 since 2013, to men and women.

    • Mike Sivier September 28, 2019 at 8:19 pm - Reply

      Are you aware of Labour’s current policy on these matters?

    • hugosmum70 September 28, 2019 at 11:30 pm - Reply

      i am a bit hazy with the times on this but i do know, a man who had been a lorry driver and had to retire due to shoulder problems. he was 60 then and he got pension credit for the next 5 years till he could claim his proper pension. i believe hes either 66 or 67 now. possibly older. which would make his first pension credit payment around the year 2012 or 2013. (now THAT IS a benefit. .. i get it myself… state pension should not be classed as a benefit though many people do(possibly none of them actually on state pension… i bet.).. he ,however, never thought of pension credit being a state benefit….. its another form of income support for the elderly.

  3. Liz Douglas September 28, 2019 at 12:18 am - Reply

    But I’ve not seen anything about stopping the egregious repeat assessments for the sick disabled and dying nor removal of the Mandatory reconsideration or the corporate lawyers who fight claimants right to benefits for the DWP they cost £22m alone. Just removing those who have suffered so long at the hands of the Tories would save millions and would mean the assessors with less cruel targets would be allowed to be compassionate with those who are assessed and removal of the ‘Decision makers’ who very often change the points given by assessors so they can say a claimant is fit to work when they patently are not – Many are obviously disabled or terminally ill and yet still told they’re fit to work they should automatically accept only GP and other medical professionals medical reports as proof a claimant isn’t able to work just doing that how many would be saved the fear of repeat assessments and the dreaded brown envelope not to mention all of this would save money and save lives

    • Mike Sivier September 28, 2019 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      My understanding is that if Labour gets a majority of MPs in Parliament, all of the things you mention will be replaced. The lot.

    • hugosmum70 September 28, 2019 at 11:39 pm - Reply

      Rome wasn’t built in a day. and to be honest it will take much longer to sort out and change everything the tory’s have done that you mention. their first priority in my eyes is to 1.stop the sanctions. and all the rest mentioned as those are the easiest things to stop dead.. im sure ive read that hes going to stop[ the reassessments already in the pipeline and not allow anymore until they can assess/decide what needs doing next.. and i think, reinstate the benefits of those who has had them stopped while waiting for tribunals etc. burt like i say. they can only do these things slowly. the benefitts system is like spaghetti junction now. and theres more for them to sort out than that on top. NHS, anything thats been /being privatised . getting businesses back in our country. or new ones started. i agree though that peoples lives should be prioritised as much as they can. as fast as they can

  4. Robbo September 28, 2019 at 4:06 am - Reply

    One must remember that the DWP was set up in 2001 by the Labour administration and the Employment Department incorporating a Disabled Persons Resettlement Service lost its identity and to some extent its purpose as a result.

  5. Jeffrey Davies September 28, 2019 at 5:33 am - Reply

    How many dead by their hands how many have suffered by their hands yet history repeating itself in aktion T4 that it seems real to far far too many people’s no joy no signing no nothings yet UC a bloody big stick to beat the peasants with while even those working will feel Tory rule hay is nothing but evil work they now by now they been told enough by their constituents yet on it rolls jeff3

  6. Julie September 28, 2019 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Why has this not been sorted sooner. People have killed themselves through Universal credit issues its too late for them. What a mess our society is in due to politicians who have not stuck to their promises. Stop leading people on the road to destruction you lot of parliamentary people. I have already sent my petition on face book months ago about abolishing universal credit led by Robbing Rudd & her merry men. Will you be able to keep your promises Mr Labour Party boss.?????

    • Mike Sivier September 28, 2019 at 8:04 pm - Reply

      The reason it hasn’t been sorted is: We have a Conservative government. Change the government and the policies change too. Jeremy Corbyn won’t have any difficulty keeping his promises if people like you (and me) give him the majority in Parliament that he needs.

  7. John Costello September 28, 2019 at 8:53 am - Reply

    I’m afraid it is a case of ‘too little, too late’ – Labour have no chance of winning the next general election.

    • Mike Sivier September 28, 2019 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      On the basis of what? Your personal preference?

  8. Kathleen Hawkins September 28, 2019 at 8:57 am - Reply

    Will they stop punishing older PIP claimants and not take money off them if they marry younger partner???

  9. trev September 28, 2019 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Well it’s good to see these changes coming but the length of time it’s going to take to fully implement a fair system that eradicates poverty probably means I’ll either be Retired or dead by the time it’s sorted. Mind you, look how long it’s taken the Tories to implement Universal Credit, it might take as long again to dismantle and replace.

  10. Rosemary Johnson September 28, 2019 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    Bring back the Manpower Services Commission !

  11. helenmaddock33 October 1, 2019 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Bedroom tax scrapped……anyone?

    • Mike Sivier October 1, 2019 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      It’s a Labour policy.

      • SteveH October 1, 2019 at 4:09 pm - Reply

        That’s not really true is it.

        • Mike Sivier October 1, 2019 at 8:21 pm - Reply

          Yes it really is true.

          • SteveH October 1, 2019 at 8:25 pm

            I doubt it, I’m aware that Labour implemented a LHA policy for the private rental market but it is more than a stretch to extrapolate that into the bedroom tax. They are not the same thing.

          • Mike Sivier October 1, 2019 at 8:32 pm

            I blew the lie about the LHA policy wide open years ago. Labour didn’t do that and Labour will abolish the bedroom tax.

          • SteveH October 1, 2019 at 8:40 pm

            Ooops! I’ve just realised that I misread the thread. My fault entirely, we were talking at cross purposes.

          • Mike Sivier October 1, 2019 at 8:41 pm

            No worries.

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