Manifesto 2019:Tackle Poverty and Inequality - Social Security - Universal Credit

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Universal Credit


The Tories’ flagship social security programme, Universal Credit (UC), has been a catastrophe. It has pushed thousands of people into poverty, caused families to lose their homes and forced parents to visit food banks in order to feed their children.

Labour will scrap UC. We will immediately stop moving people onto it and design an alternative system that treats people with dignity and respect. Our ambition in designing this system will be to end poverty by guaranteeing a minimum standard of living.

We will start developing this system immediately. But we have learned the lessons from Tory failure: major policy change can’t be delivered overnight, especially when people’s lives depend on it. So we will also implement an emergency package of reforms to mitigate some of the worst features of UC while we develop our replacement system.

We will end the five-week wait by introducing an interim payment based on half an estimated monthly entitlement. We will immediately suspend the Tories’ vicious sanction regime and ensure that employment support is positive not punitive.

We will stop 300,000 children from being in poverty by scrapping the benefit cap and the two child limit, so ending the immoral and outrageous ‘rape clause’. We will pay childcare costs up front so that parents aren’t forced to turn down work or get into debt to pay for childcare.

Labour will protect women in abusive relationships by splitting payments and paying the child element to the primary carer. We will make it easier for people to manage their living costs by introducing fortnightly payments and paying the housing element directly to landlords.

The Conservative’s ‘digital only’ approach is excluding vulnerable people. Labour will end the digital barrier and offer telephone, face-to- face and outreach support. We will recruit 5,000 additional advisors to deliver this.

Tory cuts are pushing people into rent arrears and leaving them at risk of homelessness. We will stop housing costs running away from benefits by scrapping the bedroom tax and increasing the Local Housing Allowance.