Benefits - Labour vs Conservatives? Watch

jimbeam15
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What are the differences in policies between the two parties regarding benefits?
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sleepysnooze
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guess
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viffer
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Executive Summary

Labour are quite happy for anyone to get some regardless of their circumstances. The Tories not so much.
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L i b
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The major problem is that since Corbyn's election, there hasn't been a coherent policy agenda put forward. Which is, in some ways, fair enough - there's not an election on the horizon, but it means they can't be meaningfully compared.

* Welfare Reform, as a concept, was prompted under Tony Blair. In 2008, things like the Work Capability Assessment came in alongside Employment and Support Allowance - although these are often conflated with Conservative/Coalition reforms.

* The Conservatives flagship policy was Universal Credit, which intends to combine working-age income-dependent benefits and creates a uniform rate where benefits are withdrawn as income from work increases - ending the situation whereby a part-time worker taking on more hours could be hugely penalised by the benefits system for doing so.

* There's some agreement between parties that doesn't really get noticed. Labour changed the tax credits system considerably, but even Alastair Darling, chancellor at the time, has admitted that spending on this rose in a way that was never intended. George Osborne tried to reduce these rather bluntly, but had to settle for a more scaled-down version after opposition within his own party. What Jeremy Corbyn thinks of this is anyone's guess. Both pledges in 2015 to continue with the Coalition's triple-lock on pension increases.

*There's lot of small things too, such as how under 25s are dealt with. There's not a lot of consistency behind these policies on either side, so it's basically political opposition. Social housing underoccupancy is a sticking point, with Labour pressing its "abolish the bedroom tax" line, but that seems a bit like political opportunism to me and doesn't really represent a significant change to the welfare system.*
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JamesN88
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(Original post by L i b)
The major problem is that since Corbyn's election, there hasn't been a coherent policy agenda put forward. Which is, in some ways, fair enough - there's not an election on the horizon, but it means they can't be meaningfully compared.
This is a joke. How people blindly follow him is beyond me.

Looking at their website there isn't a single policy mentioned at all. You can find the 2015 manifesto if you use Google but it isn't linked to on the site as far as I can see.
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Allie4
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(Original post by viffer)
Labour are quite happy for anyone to get some regardless of their circumstances. The Tories not so much.
but didn't Labour start up the whole Atos thing, bringing in a company and allowing them to fail as many disabled people as possibly to save money?
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L i b
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(Original post by JamesN88)
This is a joke. How people blindly follow him is beyond me.

Looking at their website there isn't a single policy mentioned at all. You can find the 2015 manifesto if you use Google but it isn't linked to on the site as far as I can see.
I suspect there's next to nothing in the 2015 manifesto we can reasonably assume is guaranteed under the current party leadership. There's been, in effect, a break in policy. **
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L i b
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(Original post by Allie4)
but didn't Labour start up the whole Atos thing, bringing in a company and allowing them to fail as many disabled people as possibly to save money?
In fairness, the Work Capability Assessment was at least credible. When 7% of working age people were claiming incapacity benefits, you've got to at least wonder at what is going on.*
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JamesN88
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(Original post by L i b)
I suspect there's next to nothing in the 2015 manifesto we can reasonably assume is guaranteed under the current party leadership. There's been, in effect, a break in policy. **
Quite literally a break since they haven't bothered coming up with(or at least publishing) any.
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jb1702
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(Original post by L i b)
In fairness, the Work Capability Assessment was at least credible. When 7% of working age people were claiming incapacity benefits, you've got to at least wonder at what is going on.*

I think it would be credible if the tests were fair and took everything, like how the condition is over a long time into account, not just how it is on the day the person is assessed. They also need to be stop trying to just get everyone into work, some people aren't physically able to
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L i b
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(Original post by jb1702)
I think it would be credible if the tests were fair and took everything, like how the condition is over a long time into account, not just how it is on the day the person is assessed. They also need to be stop trying to just get everyone into work, some people aren't physically able to
They do exactly that. Indeed, how they take account of fluctuating conditions has been one of the most reviewed parts of the WCA. There are no straightforward answers though - the alternative assessment that was used for the Evidence Based Review in 2013 asked more open-ended questions on fluctuation, but rarely received useful answers about work capability as a result. Still, once again, the Government is continuing to review this area and it is a significant part of assessor training.*

The WCA doesn't try to get everyone into work - although presumably it's fairly well agreed that the starting point should be focusing on someone's abilities rather than what restrictions they have. In any case, it is an assessment conducted independently by contractors who are creating an objective body of evidence for DWP decision-makers. *
*
In any case, thousands are still placed into the Support Group as a result of the WCA. There is no debate that some people can't work.*
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illegaltobepoor
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When it comes to Welfare Tories will basically make a vulnerable person destitute. The only reason why they haven't reduced the numbers of disability claimants is because disability organisations have been fighting back relentlessly and are actually winning more cases against the Government than during the Blair years.Blairites within Labour are pro-austerity but they haven't managed to go full Tory turncoat mode yet because there is a strong Neo-Old Labour movement in the Labour party.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by illegaltobepoor)
When it comes to Welfare Tories will basically make a vulnerable person destitute. The only reason why they haven't reduced the numbers of disability claimants is because disability organisations have been fighting back relentlessly and are actually winning more cases against the Government than during the Blair years.Blairites within Labour are pro-austerity but they haven't managed to go full Tory turncoat mode yet because there is a strong Neo-Old Labour movement in the Labour party.
Agreed. Through the last two Tory governments I have noticed a distinct rise in the number of homeless folks on out streets. I recall seeing too many on the streets during the Blair years though.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by L i b)
The major problem is that since Corbyn's election, there hasn't been a coherent policy agenda put forward. Which is, in some ways, fair enough - there's not an election on the horizon, but it means they can't be meaningfully compared.

* Welfare Reform, as a concept, was prompted under Tony Blair. In 2008, things like the Work Capability Assessment came in alongside Employment and Support Allowance - although these are often conflated with Conservative/Coalition reforms.
Welfare reform was actually a product of the dying days of the Major government with the creation of Jobseekers' Allowance and the introduction of the All Work Test (later Personal Capability Assessment) for Incapacity Benefit. The objectives remain the same. All that has happened is tinkering with the mechanics of getting the unemployed to look harder for jobs and to more objectively assess the sick.

* The Conservatives flagship policy was Universal Credit, which intends to combine working-age income-dependent benefits and creates a uniform rate where benefits are withdrawn as income from work increases - ending the situation whereby a part-time worker taking on more hours could be hugely penalised by the benefits system for doing so.
This has been an implementation disaster and the fundamental problem is not an IT one. It is as if someone says they want to pull down their Victorian house and build a modernist minimalist one; but it must have dado rails, and mantelpieces, and a butlers' pantry and an orangery and a cast iron bath. Every quirk and complexity of the old benefits system has been lovingly incorporated into Universal Credit; so much so that income can be disregarded for certain aspects of Universal Credit but taken into account for other aspects because that is what happened with the previous benefits.

* There's some agreement between parties that doesn't really get noticed. Labour changed the tax credits system considerably, but even Alastair Darling, chancellor at the time, has admitted that spending on this rose in a way that was never intended. George Osborne tried to reduce these rather bluntly, but had to settle for a more scaled-down version after opposition within his own party. What Jeremy Corbyn thinks of this is anyone's guess. Both pledges in 2015 to continue with the Coalition's triple-lock on pension increases.
The government has a lengthy record of failing to model claimants' behaviour. To take a small example, health questionnaires often offer "it varies" as an answer to questions about particular ability. Claimants are supposed to give details of the level of variability in free text boxes but they rarely do. Many claimants use "it varies" as a way of not answering difficult questions. Likewise Claimants tend to give unrepresentative single examples: "I have fallen in the street" Yes, you have, once and three years ago.


*There's lot of small things too, such as how under 25s are dealt with. There's not a lot of consistency behind these policies on either side, so it's basically political opposition. Social housing underoccupancy is a sticking point, with Labour pressing its "abolish the bedroom tax" line, but that seems a bit like political opportunism to me and doesn't really represent a significant change to the welfare system.*
But the reason Labour could get its supporters on the ground engaged with the bedroom tax issue is because of the government's failure to understand the make-up of the housing stock in many parts of the country. The reason the benefits cap didn't play well for Labour was because their supporters thought this was a little bit of spite to a tiny number of claimants and had no understanding of the sheer number of high benefit receiving families.
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niteninja1
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Here is the simple politics explanations.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Who9JLgfzdc

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdK-1cw5dbg

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8KQQtbBYvDs
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