If they win power, the Labour party would scrap any attempt by the Conservatives to make the work capability assessment (WCA) harsher, the Disability News Service (DNS) has reported.
The DWP are currently consulting on the Conservative’s plan to make it much harder to get into the limited capability for work-related activity group of universal credit. Any changes are not planned to be introduced until after the 2025 election and thus could be vetoed by an incoming government.
When asked about Labour’s position on the plan, Vicky Foxcroft, shadow minister for disabled people, told DNS this week in Liverpool: “We won’t be following through on that. No.”
Whilst this will come as a big relief for many claimants, it is probably wise to treat the statement with a degree of caution.
Liz Kendall, shadow work and pensions secretary, has said absolutely nothing on the subject of WCA changes. In fact, at the moment there is very little official Labour policy on any social security issues and the party has a troubling history of reversing earlier policy statements, even where they exist.
In addition, Foxcroft was much less clear when it came to the Conservative’s plans to abolish the WCA altogether. Instead, she told DNS that Labour had not yet decided if it would follow the Tories and scrap the WCA and rely on PIP assessments.
So, the signs coming from Labour are, in the short term at least, positive. But it would probably be unwise to rely on them entirely and conclude that there is no longer any need to campaign against the proposed cuts to the WCA.