Where do Disabled People fit in Labour’s ‘Tough on Welfare’ – The Party Response

As well as sending my letter asking Where Disabled People fit in Labour’s ‘Tough on Welfare’? to Kate Green, I also submitted it as a comment in to Labour.org; I received a reply from the Labour Party today –

Thank you for your email about Labour’s plans for social security reform.

Because of this Government’s economic failure, the next Labour government must start planning now for what will be a very difficult inheritance. David Cameron claims the economy is fixed, but the welfare bill is going up, not down. Long-term unemployment is up; the housing crisis is pushing up housing benefit spending; and the growing number of people earning less than a living wage is costing the taxpayer more in tax credits and other benefits.

One Nation Labour will get welfare spending back under control, but based on our values, not the Tories’ failed approach. That means tackling the underlying problems in our economy that drive up welfare spending: unemployment, low pay and the housing crisis.

The Tories have allowed long-term unemployment to rise. But under a Labour government, nobody who is capable of work will be left to live a life on benefits; people who can work, should work. We will guarantee anyone out of work for two years or more (or 12 months for under 25s) an offer of a real job, which they must take up, or risk losing their benefits.

Labour will halt the race to the bottom in our workplaces, tackling low pay, insecurity and exploitation rather than leaving the taxpayer to pick up the bill. We will strengthen the minimum wage, encourage more employers to pay their workers a living wage, and ban exploitative zero hours contracts.

Under the Tories, Britain is building fewer new homes than at any point since the 1920s. As a result, rents are soaring, and for every pound spent on bricks and mortar, £19 is spent on housing benefit. Labour will turn this around. We’ll aim to build 200,000 new homes a year by 2020, and if necessary, we will use ‘use it or lose it’ powers to force land-hoarding developers to build the homes that communities need.

Labour will build a social security system that is fair for both those in and out of work. To restore the public’s faith in a system that sometimes appears to give something for nothing, we will look to better recognise contribution of people who have paid in to the system for years. And where the Government’s incompetent handling of welfare reform is costing a fortune, Labour will get a grip, reforming the Work Capability Assessment so it works properly and gives disabled people the support they need.

So it seems the Labour Party feel that reforming the WCA, which I totally agree is essential, is enough to reassure those of us too sick to work will receive the essential support we need. Whilst the ‘recognition of people who have paid into the system’ might refer to a change to the current time limit on claiming contribution based ESA; there is no mention of PIP, or any of the other benefit  losses such as the Independent Living Fund.

Given this and the lack of reference to disabled people having value as human beings  I await a reply from Kate Green herself with intrigue.

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26 thoughts on “Where do Disabled People fit in Labour’s ‘Tough on Welfare’ – The Party Response

  1. Pingback: Where do Disabled People fit in Labour’s ...

  2. Interesting response, I would have liked to have seen more about how labour would engage with employers about hiring the disabled community. I hope they won’t use the same Tory rhetoric about how we inherited the debt by last govt. I believe the WCA should be abolished not tweaked because there will be people who will be found FFW when clearly they are not.

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  3. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    Disappointing response from Labour to Jayne Linney’s query about what the party would do, in government, for people who are genuinely unable to work through disability (and let’s add long-term illness as well). Most of it has nothing to do with the question that was asked. The relevant section is at the very end, and consists of a couple of lines about reforming the work capability assessment. I agree with Jayne that this is desperately needed, but it would be like putting a sticking plaster on a broken leg – a completely inadequate response to a situation that requires much more serious treatment. Hopefully Kate Green will remedy this lack.

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  4. Pingback: Where do Disabled People fit in Labour’s ‘Tough on Welfare’ – The Party Response | nearlydead

  5. What a load of *** from Labour, as usual. The “offer” of a full-time job? No doubt it’ll be six months in Poundland or Tesco for the minimum wage, the same minimum wage Labour itself says isn’t enough to live on. How will that tackle poverty? It’s more of the same “tough on welfare” nonsense we come to expect from the main three parties.

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  6. Standard automated response tbh, like on of those ”your call is important to us, please wait for the next representative who may help you” talking machines. Now is the time they ought to be showing compassion, redeeming themselves for the disaster of letting Atos through and the LIMA tick box (I know Mike, that IDS has made it worse but Labour let the beast out of the cage so to speak) They should be communicating with us about what they really will do to create an alternative to a system already heavily weighted against genuine sick, disabled and vulnerable people. The biopsycho model admired by Freud has been a nightmare for us on the recieving end, Labour could start by admitting this,and give us some hope. There are good MP’s on the back benches like Dennis Skinner, John McDonnell who would gladly scrap the WCA and start again, they have more compassion and thought for the less fortunate in their little finger than what is coming from the front bench.

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  7. all true,but labour is the best of a bad bunch. can you imagine the carnage that will result if this lot get in again. they will claim that they have a mandate to destroy the welfare safety net,just as they are doing with the nhs.

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  8. So I get no ESA support from this government and none from labour government despite paying tax and NI all my working life before I became ill. I take 30 prescription tablets a day and five injections, I am lucky as my partner is a part time ICU nurse. I am too unfit to work but as she earns 220 pounds a week that’s deemed enough for her, me and our 11 year old. Where do I fit into incapacity benefit replacement through ESA….. Nowhere! I have to pay bills and eat from DLA despite the DWP sending me mail shots for the mobility car scheme! I paid in since I started working so can I have my NI payments back if the government has now dumped me on the rubbish heap?

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  9. No mention of making Atos pay for the deaths they have caused together with IDS, who KNOWINGLY supported and still supports this evil company.Corporate manslaughter and treason…… why is it ok just because they wield power ????

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  10. Pingback: The Conspicuous Absence of IDS | Ramblings of a Fibro Fogged Mind

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