Liz Kendall, secretary of state for work and pensions.

Liz Kendall has been named as the new secretary of state for work and pensions

Kendall has been an MP since 2010 and was shadow secretary of state for work and pensions from September 2023.

She presents a mixed picture in relation to her support for incapacity and disability benefits claimants.

Kendall came fourth in the 2015 Labour leadership election, where she said that the party had to support welfare benefits reforms or face being out of power for decades.

She was the only leadership candidate to back the Conservative government’s benefits cap.

But in September 2023, when the conservatives proposed changes to make the work capability assessment harder to pass, Kendall argued that this was just “tinkering at the edges of a failing system”:

“But if you run your NHS into the ground for 13 years and let waiting lists for physical and mental health soar, if you fail to reform social care to help people caring for their loved ones, and if your sole aim is to try and score political points rather than reforming the system to get sick and disabled people who can work the help they really need, you end up with the mess we have today.

“A system that is failing sick and disabled people, that is failing taxpayers, and failing our country as a whole. Britain deserves far better than this.”

According to theyworkforyou.com, Kendall has a strong record in voting for paying higher benefits for those unable to work due to illness or disability and against a reduction in spending on welfare benefits

In April this year she challenged the then secretary of state for work and pensions Mel Stride to say “on what evidential basis he stated to The Telegraph on 20 March 2024 that GPs were signing people off work for feeling down and bluesy.”

In March, Kendall told the Demos think tank that Labour would recruit 8,500 more mental health workers and that the sickness benefits bill would fall under Labour.

“Under our changed Labour party, if you can work there will be no option of a life on benefits,” she warned.

She argued that work is good for mental health, saying: “We know that if you’re in good work, your relapses can be cut by a third or even half. That’s better for you. It’s better for the NHS, it’s better for taxpayers.”

In June of this year, Kendall told the Guardian that the Labour would investigate the carer’s allowance overpayment scandal and that it would be an “absolute priority” for her.

Sir Stephen Timms MP – minister for social security and disability

Timms has been an MP since 1994.  He was a minister under Tony Blair, serving in the DWP and the Treasury

He has also served as shadow minister for employment and shadow secretary of state for work and pensions. 

Until the election was called, he was chair of the work and pensions select committee and was generally supportive of claimants on incapacity and disability benefits.  

In January 2022 Timms used his power to publish a report “The uses of health and disability benefits” which deals in part with the unmet needs of benefits claimants and which the DWP had been fighting for years to keep secret.

In March 2022, Timms attacked the DWP’s “culture of secrecy” when it failed to support research into whether there is a link between benefits sanctions, ill health and even suicide.

In September 2022, Timms’ committee asked the DWP to help with the cost of living crisis by pausing deductions from benefits where a claimant owes the department money, perhaps because of an overpayment or loan.  The DWP refused.

Timms committee also produced a report in April 2023, ‘Health assessments for benefits’, which thousands of Benefits and Work members contributed to.  Amongst the report’s recommendations were:

  • Claimants should be paid an assessment rate of PIP if the DWP takes too long to carry out an assessment.
  • Claimants should be able to choose whether to have a face-to-face, telephone or video assessment.
  • The deadline for returning ESA50, UC50 and PIP2 forms should be extended to two months.
  • More weight should be given to evidence provided by carers and family members in relation to benefits claims.
  • Young people in receipt of DLA should not be required to claim PIP until they are 18.
  • The DWP should publish anonymized data every year on all instances of death or serious harm associated with health assessments and set out what steps it has taken to prevent them happening again.

Timms' responsibilities are listed as:

  • disability policy and cross-government responsibility for disabled people
  • Universal Credit and legacy benefits delivery
  • contributory benefits, Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance and Employment Support Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • housing
  • arm’s length body: Health and Safety Executive
  • Serious Case Panel
  • uprating and benefit cap
  • oversight of Disability Unit

Alison McGovern – minister for employment

McGovern has been an MP since 2010.

She is chair of Progressive Britain, a think tank on the right wing of the Labour Party.

She was the Shadow Minister for Employment and Social Security until the election.

According to theyworkforyou.com, Kendall has a strong record in voting for paying higher benefits for those unable to work due to illness or disability and against a reduction in spending on welfare benefits.

In response to a Conservative plan to create “skills bootcamps” for unemployed people in order to reduce reliance on foreign labour,  McGovern said in May of this year:

“It is Labour who have the plan to get Britain working by cutting NHS waiting lists, reforming job centres, making work pay and supporting people into good jobs across every part of the country.”

McGovern's responsibilities are listed as:

  • labour market - including employer engagement
  • addressing inactivity including the Work and Health strategy
  • poverty
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • devolution (devolution local)
  • In Work Progression
  • skills
  • disability employment
  • childcare
  • Access to Work
  • Youth Offer
  • Occupational Health and Statutory Sick Pay
  • conditionality and sanctions

 Emma Reynolds - minister for pensions

Reynolds' responsibilities are listed as:

  • private pensions
  • State Pension
  • pensioner benefits
  • Social Fund
  • Net Zero
  • Shadow Lords (including Child Maintenance Service and disadvantaged groups)
  • arm’s-length bodies: Money and Pensions Service, National Employment Savings Trust, The Pensions Ombudsman, Pension Protection Fund and The Pensions Regulator
  • HM Treasury responsibilities

Andrew Western - minister for transformation

Western's responsibilities are listed as:

  • fraud, error and debt
  • digital, AI and Service Modernisation
  • devolution (national)
  • international
  • workplace transformation
  • customer experience
  • deputy for Ministers of State/legislation in Parliament
  • arm’s-length bodies: Industrial Injuries Advisory Council and the Office for Nuclear Regulation

Baroness Sherlock - minister for Lords

Sherlock's responsibilities are listed as:

  • DWP Lords spokesperson
  • departmental oversight including Commercial and Research
  • legislation coordination
  • disadvantaged groups
  • Shadow Fraud in the House of Lords
  • Social Security Advisory Committee oversight
  • Child Maintenance, Family Test and Reducing Parental Conflict

 

 

Comments

Write comments...
or post as a guest
People in conversation:
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    M Johnston · 21 hours ago
    British government are copying exactly what the Americans government is doing,
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    M Johnston · 21 hours ago
    I’m on DLA does this apply for DLA too?
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Dean · 1 days ago
    The idea of pip Vouchers replacing Pip (cash) payments is frightening.  Hopefully Stephen Timms will listen to the disabled & people with mental health problems . Please scrap Pip bring back DLA 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jojo · 2 days ago
    If we go on vouchers I'm royally snagged the amount of stuff I buy because I can't get it on prescription cause they say I'm already getting too much script stuff. I've also got a meter off small bowel attached to a stoma get through 20 toilet rolls a fortnight.  All this stress is not needed we need a definitive answer
     I foned the job centre and they can't tell me anything in case they give me the wrong information I'm tearing my hair out make it stop , it's not fair to anybody it's already difficult enough to get an award for pip
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Kenny Macdonald(Perth) · 2 days ago
    How can the government possibly implement a voucher scheme in relation to a PIP payment. PIP is awarded to people who are more likely to use taxis to avaid the anxiety of public places, and more inclined to use takeaways as they struggle to cook, more inclined to use independent quieter shops and less commercial busier shopping experienced places. Are the government really going to force or encourage every independent shop and takeaway and taxi company across the UK? As well as driving lessons, holiday resorts, massage and chiropodists, etc, etc, etc. The list is endless. And what about the people who live in remote places. Or will the government implement this using only large commercial shopping chains, which will limit our choice and hugely inconvenience us? Wow, was my response when I 1st read of this wildy and totally absurd idea. Please Mr Prime Minister, scrap this idea immediately.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    JustinRUK · 2 days ago
    “She argued that work is good for mental health,” 
    Really Liz? You aught to tell that to people working long hours with bosses ever heaping more work on them to breaking point. Many sign off work due to mental ill health. Doesn’t sound convincing that work automatically benefits/boost mental welbeing. Talk about ignorance. Maybe a Labour will be less unkind to us. How much less unkind, Abby a lot or by a smidgen?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Denise · 2 days ago
      @JustinRUK Sorry to say Stammer is no socialist, he's just a watered down tory, just like Blair's New Labour, nothing will change for the benefit claimants, he will just carry on where the Tories left off, just listen to the wording when they mention benefits, anybody WHo CAN WORK will work, were have we heard that before, boot camps for the unemployed, all Stammer is interested in, is the working people, the sick/disabled had it the worst under the Tories, but sadly my life and those of my fellow sick/disabled suffers, will not be better off or treated with dignity and empathy, I am a socialist Labour voter through and through, but sadly we no longer have a Labour party that has the true commitment to making the lives of the sick/disabled more comfortable and less stressful, and treated with respect.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Robert · 2 days ago
    This is as awful as they come . This shows how Disabled people are shown as second class and undesirable to be forgotten about and left to rot .
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Bill · 2 days ago
      @Robert This is not true.
      Stephen Timms is an excellent supporter of disability needs. 
      He has written to me as Chair of the Parliamentary Committee when I had a problem with my PIP review getting lost in the DWP backlog for over a year and my blue badge expiring etc because of it. 
      I had written to my (Tory) MP for help, and I copied in Stephen Timms to try and ensure my MP didn't ignore me (as he was known to be Hard Right).
      Stephen Timms did not need to write to me,  as I am not his constituent, but he did anyway, offering his support if I needed further help.
      He is a very kind and thoughtful man.
      It is excellent that he has been given responsibility for PIP/DLA.
      Compared to Mel Stride/ IDS etc, it is as different as chalk and cheese , day v night.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    A Butt · 2 days ago
    Maybe these ministers should try and live like disabled people do for a month. What are we supposed to do for our everyday needs with vouchers. 
    I also learned that any replacement of my equipment will be judged on an individual basis. What a absolute joke this scheme is. Maybe they should go back to the old criteria that was exceptionally hard to pass unless you really are disabled and need help. I had to go through lots of processes to get help. Maybe someone will see sense. Lol
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Maureen malone · 2 days ago
    I say leave our pip alone coupons what a load of bull it is a stupid idea and will cause more stress for people 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Nuala Scanlon · 2 days ago
    Hi I hope Labour sees sense and drop the idea of vouchers 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Judith · 3 days ago
    Does anyone agree that people with an unpaid carer in receipt of carers allowance should be exempt from assessments etc.. due to the fact that if someone needs a carer they obviously arent well enough to work, no offence to anyone who doesn't have a carer. My husband is my full time carer if i have to look for work will he be expected to drive me there and stay with me and fufill his normal caring duties. It's all very strange🤔
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Tess · 2 days ago
      @Judith Whilst I understand your concern, I have just lost my husband who was my carer. I am now completely on my own. Fortunately(?) I am of pension age but could be deemed fit as I now have to manage everything without any help.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    wibblum · 4 days ago
    Interesting to note that in the latest updates above, it is Stephen Timms who is now tasked with specific oversight of PIP, and with UC 'delivery'. Given his previous record of greater empathy than some for disabled claimants, this *could* be the basis for cautious optimism.

    Whether his previous position changes now that he is in government, and how he handles the situation with UC migration in the coming months will no doubt be the real test.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ward · 6 days ago
    I suffer with fibromyalgia and I got terminal cancer? Does anyone know if I will lose my benefits? I wouldn’t last a day at work because I am bedridden most of the time? I am really worried!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Lorraine · 2 days ago
      @Marion Let's hope Ward receives clarity,comfort and reassurance. 

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Marion · 2 days ago
      @Ward DWP always state, “It’s not the condition/chronic illness that decides your benefits, it’s the way it affects you day to day”.  I also believe age comes into it, I’ve learned that the ageing process makes many conditions worse. None of us can say if you’ll lose your benefits &we shouldn’t have to, but knowing DWP, they’ll say you could work from home/on your bed!!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Lizzie · 3 days ago
      @Ward Anyone who would make you look for work would be non human from the pit of hell. God bless you fellow warrior don't worry you have enough bother. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    wibblum · 6 days ago
    You might imagine that -just as an example- an autistic, agoraphobic, diabetic 59 year-old with limited physical mobility who narrowly survived a massive heart attack six months ago (brought on by the stress of fighting the DWP for a PIP award), could feel that they should have nothing to fear from a Labour government...


  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Harry · 8 days ago
    Looks like labour are definitely targeting the disabled and sick start getting prepared 


    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/back-to-work-plan-will-help-drive-economic-growth-in-every-region



    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Marion · 2 days ago
      @Harry But even taking the 2.8 million who are not working, due to long term sickness, there are supposed to be no more than 800.000 job vacancies. If you add in just some of the other, “economically inactive”, where are there enough jobs??

      It will be back to the usual New Labour/Tory Party,  punishment,  as they want you to have any benefit & it will end with many forced  into ludicrous “getting work ready”, with useless courses.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Harry · 9 days ago
    Looks like labour are definitely targeting the disabled and sick start getting prepared 

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Denise · 2 days ago
      @Harry I said this would happen under Stammer and Labour, there would be no change for the sick/disabled, just carry on were the Tories left off, and with nobody to stand up for us, and you wonder why The Reform Party are getting bigger as a party.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Harry · 8 days ago
      @Harry Thank you I thought it wasn't getting posted and it's important as it now depicts what heinous measures Labour are implementing against disabled benefit recipients 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Onyx123 · 9 days ago
    I wish Sir Stephen Timms was the Secretary for State for the DWP. Liz Kendall what I have heard her say would fit right in with Ian Duncan Smith, Ester McVey and Chris Grailing. Liz Kendal sounds more like a Tory than a Labour Minister. I do remember that it was Blairs government who introduced WCA's and the Tories run with the idea. I remember many things Blairs government did. I had a theory at the time when I was younger and fit and healthy before I had Parkinson's and COPD that Blair was diverting money away from the sick and disabled to pay for all his new intakes when he opened the borders.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Denise · 2 days ago
      @Onyx123 They sound like a tory, because they are watered down Tories, in other words they think and act like Tories but hide behind Labour colours, just like Tony Blair's New Labour, and both his parents were Tories, need I say anymore.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Harry · 9 days ago
      @Onyx123 New Deal for Disabled Labour's horrendous policy 1997 and now Liz Kendall Nu Labour( Tory) part 2 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Matthew Leonard · 11 days ago
    Just seen an article in the I suggesting Labour will keep Tory plans to change PIP. I note Reeves' comments regarding the public finances...I think disabled people are going to be hit with more cuts.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      A · 9 days ago
      @Argotina You're absolutely right. It was just a consultation and not even a plan or policy. The labour clearly said that they would first study the details of the consultation. It was not a policy or proposal that had been voted for, to see whether to keep of discard it. 

      Many so-called news outlets are speculating on welfare.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Matthew Leonard · 10 days ago
      @Argotina If it was the Torygraph or the Daily Hell I would have ignored the article, but the I is quite left wing and may have inside knowledge.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Argotina · 10 days ago
      @Matthew Leonard The Tories hadn't firmed their plans to change PIP, they had only put forward a consultation. As there were no plans decided on I don't see how it would be possible for Labour to keep to them. it's just scaremongering.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    A · 11 days ago
    "Supporting people into good jobs." 

    If they're really serious, why don't they give such good jobs to those who're looking for jobs and are on jobseekers benefit, instead of parroting of giving good jobs to ill people who are not able to work and are not looking for any job, good or not?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Lizzie · 3 days ago
      @A Yes, but they would need to have a working brain to do that. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Kara · 4 days ago
      @T Who on earth would go through the benefits world of stress & drama if they were well?!  politicians are so remote from the real world.  I, like many on the site, worked prior to illness, this new minster doesn't mention those who cannot work anymore! most of us claimed due to falling sick! It's as if being unwell is a "lifestyle choice" we can change, they say this whilst pushing up the retirement age & receiving good pensions early as MPs.   
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      TheDogmother · 7 days ago
      @A @A Common sense ain't so common it seems. Logic goes out the window when they are fixated on coming after the sick,disabled, weak and vunerable. Bit senseless trying to force the aforementioned into work they simply on the whole won't be able to fulfill.  No matter how focused or willing they would be.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      T · 11 days ago
      @A Completely agree!!! Give all these jobs to the millions of unemployed none sick before picking on us..  they act as if there is not any unemployed disabled people. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.

Free PIP, ESA & UC Updates!

Delivered Fortnightly

Over 110,000 claimants and professionals subscribe to the UK's leading source of benefits news.

 
iContact
We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.