Reformed Labor benefit plans for Universal Credit, PIPs and state pensions

Labor has promised to “restart economic growth” after 14 years of Conservative rule and aims to address the growing issue of economic inactivity. But how would this affect the benefits system?

Without any specifics, the party’s manifesto outlines broad strategies to increase employment rates. There is no clarity on the proposed changes to the Personal Independence Payment, the rapid transfer of legacy benefit claimants to Universal Credit, or the requirement for individuals to repay their Carer’s Allowance if they have unknowingly exceeded the earnings threshold.

However, Labor has made clear intentions to increase employment among disabled people, which has been achieved in part by reducing the large number of Universal Credit claimants deemed exempt from job hunting. The party seeks to amend or abolish the current assessment which determines a person’s suitability for work.

The manifesto says that “too many people are out of work or not earning enough”, blaming NHS waiting lists for treatment as part of the problem. Here is what the party has announced so far regarding its plans, reports Birmingham Live.

Universal Credit and PIP

Analysts are sounding the alarm about the spiraling costs of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), urging the government to take action. Tom Waters, Associate Director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, highlighted the issue: “The number of people receiving financial support from the government for health-related benefits has increased dramatically since the pandemic and it is expected that it will continue to grow.

“This is one of the main reasons for the large increase in public spending from 2019 and into the next parliament. So it is understandable that whoever is in office after the election should want to look carefully at this .”

While Labour’s manifesto does not address plans by the Conservative-led Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to reduce rising PIP costs through an overhaul, including vouchers that could replace cash payments, Labor has indicated its intention to review the feedback. the ongoing consultation, which ends on July 22, just three weeks after the election.

Labour’s plans to reduce economic inactivity and ensure more employment opportunities for disabled people were confirmed. The party also aims to address the issue of people being excluded from work through the Universal Credit system.

Labor believes there is a need to reform the assessment of work ability, which determines whether someone on Universal Credit is fit for employment or eligible for a £416 disability supplement. Around one third of Universal Credit claimants belong to this ‘limited capacity for work and work-related activity’ group, and the majority also receive Personal Independence Payment.

The workforce provides reassurance to people with disabilities or those suffering from mental health and physical illnesses that benefits will not be immediately reduced or stopped as they try to re-enter the workforce.

As stated in the party’s manifesto: “Too many people are out of work or not earning enough. Long waits for treatment of health conditions, particularly mental health, are contributing to the rise in economic inactivity. Labor will reform employment support so that it encourages growth and opportunity. Our system will be underpinned by rights and responsibilities of people who can work, people who should work and there will be consequences for those who do not fulfill their duties.”

“Labor will work with local areas to create plans to support more people with disabilities and health conditions into work. We will devolve funding so that local areas can shape the work, health and skills offer for local people We will tackle the backlog of Access to Work claims and give disabled people the confidence to start work without fear of an immediate benefit reassessment if it doesn’t work We believe the Work Capability Assessment is not working and it needs to be amend or replace, together with its appropriate plan to support disabled people to work.”

State Pension

Labor is committed to the triple lock system used to calculate the annual increase in the State Pension. This ensures that pensions will rise each April by whichever is higher: the previous September’s Consumer Price Index inflation measure, May-July earnings growth, or a default minimum of 2.5 per cent.

Despite concerns about the long-term sustainability of the triple lock, Labor insists on keeping it for now. They have said: “We will keep the triple lock of the pension and give security to retired pensioners. Labor will protect the triple lock on pensions and increase the State Pension each year by inflation, average earnings, or by 2.5 per cent, whichever is the case. taller.”

Cost of living

Despite inflation and pressure from all quarters, the Conservative-led Department for Work and Pensions has insisted that no further cost-of-living adjustments are on the horizon. Although there is still a silver lining as they have approved an extension to the Family Support Fund until September 30, injecting an extra £421 million.

This enables council departments such as Birmingham to provide their own payments in the form of hardship grants, worth £200 each, to low-income households and those individuals who are eligible through specific benefits.

Conversely, Labour’s approach contains no proposal for future cost of living adjustments or the future of the Family Support Fund after September. However, they have outlined measures to combat the rising cost of living.

Labor lays the grim prospect of an “eye-popping cost of living” squarely at the feet of Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives’ remaining 14 years in power. The party claims the Tories’ annual increase would reach £5,883, which breaks down to an extra £479 on energy, £1,040 on groceries, £421 on council tax, £2,880 on mortgages, £189 on motoring and £874. on personal tax.

Labour’s agenda is a promise to stabilize the economy with strict spending restrictions, trying to foster economic growth and keep taxes, inflation and mortgages as low as possible. He promises to tackle “out-of-control bills” through government-owned green power company Great British Energy, which is unveiling a windfall tax on oil and gas heavyweights intended to permanently reduce people’s annual energy spending.

In addition, they campaign for a wide-ranging insulation scheme for millions of homes.

Labor is setting out plans to “make work pay” by taking measures such as “banning exploitative zero-hours contracts, ending fire and redundancies, and delivering a real living wage that takes into account the cost of living for the first time. “

The party explains: “The New Deal is a key part of our mission to grow the British economy and raise living standards in all parts of the country. Labor will make Britain work for working people.”

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