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As Theresa May announces her intention to hold a general election on 8 June, we ask: is there anyone for claimants to vote for?

Assuming, as seems likely, that May gets her way and parliament votes in favour of an election, who will you vote for?

In some parts of the UK, such as Scotland, many claimants may consider that there is one party that is clearly more claimant friendly than the rest.

But, if you live in England in particular, you may feel that it is struggle to find a party with a realistic chance of winning a significant number of seats but which is also willing to stick up for the rights of people on benefits.

The Conservatives are clearly out to take as much cash as they can from sick and disabled claimants, the Lib Dems supported repeated attacks on claimants' income when they were in coalition with the Tories whilst Labour have been utterly ineffective and largely uninterested in fighting for claimants whilst in opposition.

Benefits and Work will not be supporting any party in the forthcoming elections, but we’d be very interested in hearing your opinions in the comments section below.

Comments  

#105 caiti 2017-05-25 15:03
Obviously most on this site will vote Labour, not me. It has been enlightening to read others views though. I'm afraid Labour has let people down so much in the past, allowing our country to get into such a mess...remember the note left when the Tories came to power "There's no money left", and this from people supposedly leading our country. If Labour get in again there will be a situation of Borrow, borrow, borrow, but who pays it back?
#104 Spectralis 2017-05-13 20:42
The main reasons the Tories and their rich donors loathe the 70's were high taxation and organised workers who struck the fear of god in them. They were on the defensive yet the 80-90% tax rates still didn't put a dent in their opulent and lavish lifestyles.

The claim that higher taxation in the UK will frighten off big business is not backed up by evidence. It's not easy to rip up £billions of plant and infrastructure and relocate abroad because it severely impacts profit margins which have remained precarious since the recession. Many corporations have out-sourced all they can already. It's a bit difficult to outsource service industries to a different country for obvious reasons - most people aren't going to travel to India or China for a cappuccino, education or an x-ray.
#103 Asbo 2017-05-12 22:33
[quote name"Far from "back to the '70s", with smart technology it could buy us back some of the "family silver" that succesive govt.s have squandered on short-term gain.

That attempt by the Tories to cast aspersions always makes me laugh. There was plenty that was good in the 70s. And better then 70s than take us back to Edwardian times of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists as the Tories want!
+2 #102 pendragon 2017-05-12 13:26
Quote:
Tactical voting won't stop the Tories. A Labour vote is the only way of doing that.
It depends on where you live and how strong a presence Labour have there. If it's going to be a tie between Lib Dem, PC or the SNP against the Cons. Then I wouldn't hesitate to vote tactically.

Quote:
Every vote for Labour counts in this election. Whether they win or not, it sends a clear message that millions of people reject austerity. No other party is offering such a comprehensive and unapologetic rejection of austerity. The larger the Labour vote the more confidence this will give millions of us fighting the cuts. This is an historic opportunity to overturn nearly 40 years of Thatcherism and Blairism, two sides of the same coin, that have decimated whole communities and scapegoated the most vulnerable.
I agree with you in principle. And I hope that the Manifesto leak backfires. It's a bold bid and, guess what?, entirely democratic! I hope they win. Far from "back to the '70s", with smart technology it could buy us back some of the "family silver" that succesive govt.s have squandered on short-term gain. I'm thinking of power and railways - why should we be using French-owned EDF and German-owned Arriva, and not have our own nationally-owne d rivals working for us and our national interests?
+3 #101 Spectralis 2017-05-12 03:58
Tactical voting won't stop the Tories. A Labour vote is the only way of doing that.

In coalition, the LibDems helped the Tories push through welfare cuts. Shirley Williams wrung her hands and then voted for Andrew Lansley's NHS privatisation bill. When in power they always drop their progressive rhetoric and shift right.

The only place the Greens have any chance of winning is in Brighton. So a vote for them elsewhere is wasted. A vote for independents is more likely to eat into the Labour vote and unlikely to unseat Tories either.

A vote for UKIP is a vote for more welfare cuts and the destruction of the NHS.

Every vote for Labour counts in this election. Whether they win or not, it sends a clear message that millions of people reject austerity. No other party is offering such a comprehensive and unapologetic rejection of austerity. The larger the Labour vote the more confidence this will give millions of us fighting the cuts. This is an historic opportunity to overturn nearly 40 years of Thatcherism and Blairism, two sides of the same coin, that have decimated whole communities and scapegoated the most vulnerable.
+2 #100 tintack 2017-05-11 13:01
Quoting Mutley:
This is a Prime minister who is so unsure of herself, that she calls for a general election now. She makes promises of tackling the Energy sector and other little niceties, and yet ignores the fact that the Tories are in power now and could have done all these things and haven't.
I would think it better to say, look at the good we have done, rather than make promise we know they won't keep, tell everyone to tighten there belts again (austerity unto death), whilst giving money to the wealthiest.


"Austerity unto death" has already meant literally that for thousands, and no doubt will mean the same thing for thousands more over the next five years. Unfortunately we won't know how many, as the DWP no longer collects the death stats. They find it awfully embarrassing and terribly distasteful when it's pointed out that they're running a system which hounds people into destitution and early graves.

Quote:
Rather than create incentives for the rich to create jobs, the conservatives would rather lessen their tax burden and increase suffering to the poorest.
....while also using divide and rule tactics to ensure the peasants turn on each other. Maybe a return to full-on Medieval feudalism is in order - at least that system was honest in treating all except the richest like dirt.
+3 #99 tintack 2017-05-10 23:42
Quoting Spectralis:
Of the 211 billion actually spent on welfare, only £18 billion is spent on disable people of working age - less than 5% of the bogus £400 billion welfare figure.


And yet, when people are asked about welfare - or social security as we used to called it - it turns out that they believe benefits are far more generous than they really are, that far more is spent on the disabled and unemployed than is actually the case, and that fraud is vastly higher than it actually is. Even when given the facts they'll often carry on believing the propaganda. The public really has swallowed the right wing press' bile.

Quote:
A million people rely on food banks. Homelessness is at record levels. Children suffer scurvy and malnutrition. The UK spends less on healthcare and welfare than nearly all the leading EU members.
Exactly.The return of diseases which we thought had been consigned to the history books along with the worst privations of the Victorian era. Not that the Tory press will disturb its readers by pointing such things out.

Quote:
If anyone still has illusions that the economy is safe in Tory hands, read 'NHS SOS'. Cuts and privatisation are destroying the NHS. It's the largest employer in the UK and one of the most effective and efficient health services in the world. Many of us depend on it.
But the NHS shows how an institution based on socialist principles can work - we can't have that!

The "justification" for austerity is supposedly to "balance the books". Yet the 1945 Labour government inherited a far bigger deficit than the one we've had since the financial crash and still managed to create the welfare state and the NHS. If they'd had today's mentality we'd have had neither.
+1 #98 Mutley 2017-05-10 23:21
[quote name="tintack
Strong and stable, strong and stable, strong and stable.....
Weak and unstable.Weak and unstable. Weak and unstable.

This is a Prime minister who is so unsure of herself, that she calls for a general election now. She makes promises of tackling the Energy sector and other little niceties, and yet ignores the fact that the Tories are in power now and could have done all these things and haven't.
I would think it better to say, look at the good we have done, rather than make promise we know they won't keep, tell everyone to tighten there belts again (austerity unto death), whilst giving money to the wealthiest.
Rather than create incentives for the rich to create jobs, the conservatives would rather lessen their tax burden and increase suffering to the poorest.
+1 #97 pendragon 2017-05-10 21:33
Tintack has covered a lot of ground that I won't repeat. And I'm not against voting Labour, but unless that vote is going to keep a tory out, it's wasted,imo.

While Labour under Jeremy Corbyn has come up with an excellent 10 point plan - they need to get into power first to implement it. I cannot sit back for the next month with my fingers, toes, eyes and brain hemispheres crossed, singing la la la in the hope he will win on Labour's plan alone. As far as I know, he's not spending grillions from offshore donations to pay for military intelligence and analytics to sway voters on facebook (as Vote Leave etc. did), and he doesn't have the tabloid press or mainstream media behind him, so he's not "gaming it" in the way the tories are.

- Sorry Caiti, but you seem to have fallen hook, line and sinker here.

In fact, some of the things Corbyn's come out with are woefully weak - promising bank holidays and free NHS parking spaces… these are small fry, so I cannot be confident that he will win, especially as the polls look pretty dire too, for what they're worth.

I just think that it will take nothing less than a cross-party coalition to even enable Labour to get in. If they have to share the vote, we will all have the luxury of arguing the toss and slagging off the Lib Dems for vaccillating, etc. The French have pulled off a miracle - we need a miracle too.
+5 #96 Spectralis 2017-05-10 19:00
The Tory/LibDem coalition ran up more debt during their term than Labour did during the 12 years it was in power.

Tories play fast and loose with the employment figures. For example, unemployed people on training courses and those being sanctioned are not included in the unemployment figures. Those on zero hour contracts are not included when they receive zero work. Those on low wages and benefits are not included either. The "self-employed" who claim benefits are not included. Millions live in poverty while Tory statistics ignore them.

Cameron and Osborne manipulated welfare figures by including public sector pensions (Generals, MP's, nurses etc.). Other scams allowed them to double the welfare bill. Of the 211 billion actually spent on welfare, only £18 billion is spent on disable people of working age - less than 5% of the bogus £400 billion welfare figure.

For most of us, disposable income is now lower than in the 1970's. Last year the wealth of the richest 1,000 people, owning 50% of UK wealth, increased by 14%. NHS staff pay was cut by 12% while the Tories have been in office.

A million people rely on food banks. Homelessness is at record levels. Children suffer scurvy and malnutrition. The UK spends less on healthcare and welfare than nearly all the leading EU members.

If anyone still has illusions that the economy is safe in Tory hands, read 'NHS SOS'. Cuts and privatisation are destroying the NHS. It's the largest employer in the UK and one of the most effective and efficient health services in the world. Many of us depend on it.

Labour under Blair initiated many of the cuts and privatisations the Tories have perpetuated. But Labour Party policy is completely different since Corbyn was elected leader. Labour will end austerity and defend the disabled and workers rights. I'm not a LP member but I'll be voting Labour to end austerity. If you want a fairer society for ALL, then vote Labour.
#95 tintack 2017-05-10 18:58
Quoting Imagine:
"Theresa May refuses to rule out more cuts to disability benefits sparking fears of fresh bombshell

Tories have already denied increased benefits to 165,000 people - and she won't confirm slashing them even further

Theresa May refused to rule out more crushing cuts to disability benefits today.

The Prime Minister was grilled by workers at a printing factory in Mansfield, Notts, where she triggered fears of a fresh bombshell for the vulnerable.

Asked to rule out more cuts to disability benefits, she said: "If you look at what we've been doing on disability benefit payments what we have done is looked at focusing disability benefit payments on those who are most in need and most vulnerable.".

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-refuses-rule-out-more-10395147


Strong and stable, strong and stable, strong and stable.....
#94 Imagine 2017-05-10 18:05
"Theresa May refuses to rule out more cuts to disability benefits sparking fears of fresh bombshell

Tories have already denied increased benefits to 165,000 people - and she won't confirm slashing them even further

Theresa May refused to rule out more crushing cuts to disability benefits today.

The Prime Minister was grilled by workers at a printing factory in Mansfield, Notts, where she triggered fears of a fresh bombshell for the vulnerable.

Asked to rule out more cuts to disability benefits, she said: "If you look at what we've been doing on disability benefit payments what we have done is looked at focusing disability benefit payments on those who are most in need and most vulnerable.".

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-refuses-rule-out-more-10395147
+5 #93 tintack 2017-05-10 18:00
Quoting caiti:
I think it has to be Conservative as we need a strong leader during these difficult times.


In what sense is May a strong leader? The one time she was faced with a couple of bad headlines in the Daily Mail (over NI contributions) she folded like a napkin. She now favours the hardest of Brexits having been a remainer. She was "outraged" over a kids' Easter egg hunt that supposedly omitted the word Easter but couldn't summon up the same outrage when faced with the RCN's report of nurses relying on food banks. Or indeed when she was flogging arms to the Saudis. The fact that she keeps repeating "strong and stable" until she sounds like a Dalek with a glitch doesn't make her strong.

Quote:
Plus we also need a strong and buoyant economy, which at present it is
An economy increasingly based on badly paid, insecure jobs and ZHCs, and an explosion in the number of people relying on food banks, many of whom are in work. These things are not unconnected. And why can't this economy adequately fund public services if it's so "buoyant"?

Quote:
If Jeremy Corbyn truly cared about the principles of Labour he would have stood down as soon as an election was announced, paving the way for a Labour leader who was more electable.
Presumably "electable" is code for "willing to kick the crap out of the sick and disabled like the Tories" in order to appeal to complete ars....pardon me, "people with legitimate concerns".

Quote:
I feel far more safer under the Conservative leadership...at least I'll still be alive to be called a fool.
Sadly, five more years of Tory cuts will ensure that many will no longer be alive. Like the thousands already dead within weeks of having their benefit stopped because they were "fit for work". The Tories know all about that and don't give a rat's arse. Be under no illusions: if you vote Tory, that's what you're voting for.
+2 #92 tintack 2017-05-10 17:20
Quoting Spectralis:
Labour, led by Corbyn, have promised to spend more on the NHS, schools, social care and to get rid of the brutal and discredited PIP and ESA assessments. The Tories have promised to continue privatising the NHS, cutting social care and welfare benefits.

Corbyn has a massive mandate to lead Labour, larger than Blair ever had. Under Blair, LP membership dropped by 50%, to its lowest in Labour's history. The Blairite Labour Right are now a small minority in the LP who have no credibility. They support more cuts just like the Tories. Corbyn, on the other hand, is consistent, sticks to his word and is trustworthy. What's more important are the anti-austerity policies he supports that are now Labour policy. The left in Labour are the majority and they promise an end to austerity.

Teresa May, on the other hand, wants more austerity, goes back on her word and is untrustworthy. She prostrated herself before Trump who then met Merkel and agreed to give the EU a trade deal before the UK. May panders to dictatorships like Saudi Arabia in a desperate attempt to appear relevant. She has no principles or, more correctly, her principles are despicable.


Yeah, but Brexit 'n' immigrants, innit. Strong slogans, stable soundbites etc..
+5 #91 Spectralis 2017-05-10 16:48
Labour, led by Corbyn, have promised to spend more on the NHS, schools, social care and to get rid of the brutal and discredited PIP and ESA assessments. The Tories have promised to continue privatising the NHS, cutting social care and welfare benefits.

Corbyn has a massive mandate to lead Labour, larger than Blair ever had. Under Blair, LP membership dropped by 50%, to its lowest in Labour's history. The Blairite Labour Right are now a small minority in the LP who have no credibility. They support more cuts just like the Tories. Corbyn, on the other hand, is consistent, sticks to his word and is trustworthy. What's more important are the anti-austerity policies he supports that are now Labour policy. The left in Labour are the majority and they promise an end to austerity.

Teresa May, on the other hand, wants more austerity, goes back on her word and is untrustworthy. She prostrated herself before Trump who then met Merkel and agreed to give the EU a trade deal before the UK. May panders to dictatorships like Saudi Arabia in a desperate attempt to appear relevant. She has no principles or, more correctly, her principles are despicable.

As part of the coalition, the LibDems helped the Tories bring in the hated welfare cuts. Without their help the Tories would never have achieved their aims. I won't waste any more time explaining how duplicitous the LibDems are, their record speaks for itself.

If you're disabled then voting for Tories, LibDems or UKIP is like turkeys voting for xmas. If you want to be treated fairly and with dignity then vote Labour at this election.
-4 #90 caiti 2017-05-10 14:51
I think it has to be Conservative as we need a strong leader during these difficult times. Plus we also need a strong and buoyant economy, which at present it is...even more so since the country voted to leave the EU. If Jeremy Corbyn truly cared about the principles of Labour he would have stood down as soon as an election was announced, paving the way for a Labour leader who was more electable.The UK needs someone who will be concerned about our national security too and I feel far more safer under the Conservative leadership...at least I'll still be alive to be called a fool.
+1 #89 pendragon 2017-05-10 13:17
Best thing any of can do is to join bestforbritain. org, who aim to notify who to vote for tactically in your own area - if you don't know that already. By the looks of some of the comments here, people need to be better informed. The Labour party yesterday expelled 3 excellent and loyal members for aggreeing to a progressive alliance in Surrey to try to oust Jeremy Hunt, or at least dent his 8,000 majority. The 3 ex-labourites are sticking by their guns though, by all acounts. Let us celebrate them.

We have the numbers to oppose the tories, but that's no use if it's divided. Gina Miller - who set up Best for Britain - has more than proved her worth by taking the govt. to the High Court and winning, over Parliament having the vote on any Brexit deal. Let us add to her number of supporters and turn this nightmare around!! We need progressive alliance first, just to get the foot in the door. Without that, we're all stuffed.
+2 #88 Imagine 2017-05-07 11:39
“That’s why Labour has committed to scrapping the Work Capability Assessment and transforming our social security system, based on the principles of inclusion, dignity and support.”

Debbie Abrahams MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary

http://press.labour.org.uk/post/154204694909/these-flawed-tory-assessments-only-create-further

“Labour has committed to scrapping the Tories’ punitive sanctions regime, under our plans to transform the social security system to ensure that, like the NHS, it is there for us all in our time of need.”

Debbie Abrahams MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary

http://press.labour.org.uk/post/157523214059/misuse-of-sanctions-is-further-evidence-of-the

“We believe these unsung, unpaid heroes not only deserve our praise and recognition - they deserve better financial support. That’s why Labour is convinced it’s both morally and economically right to give the carer’s allowance a boost of £10 a week.”

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/17/labour-to-promise-unpaid-carers-17-allowance-increase
#87 Asbo 2017-04-30 22:44
Quoting Mutley:
Quoting Asbo:


None of them have brought out their manifestos yet but the WASPI women pledge was announced on the news the other night, probably Channel 4. You can Google the others as I did. Jeremy Corbyn has long been an opponent of the WCA. This is in the Independent 2016 re the WCA:


You mean apart from the 10 pledges from the Labour Party

http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/10-pledges


Pledges aren't a manifesto though - and the person who asked the question wanted specifics which I hope will be in the manifesto
+3 #86 Mutley 2017-04-30 16:09
Quoting Asbo:


None of them have brought out their manifestos yet but the WASPI women pledge was announced on the news the other night, probably Channel 4. You can Google the others as I did. Jeremy Corbyn has long been an opponent of the WCA. This is in the Independent 2016 re the WCA:


You mean apart from the 10 pledges from the Labour Party

http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/10-pledges

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