Lat month, we published a poll asking readers “Would Labour be better than the Conservatives for disabled claimants?” 

We asked the question because Labour almost completely ignored the issue of benefits in their manifesto.  It left many claimants wondering whether this was because Labour were largely sympathetic but don’t want to provide a target for the right-wing press or whether it is because they have nothing positive to say to claimants.

In the absence of hard evidence, we thought it important to give people a chance to share how they were interpreting the silence.

Almost 2,500 people took part in the poll. The results were:

1 Labour will be supportive of disabled claimants.  20%

2 Labour will be less harsh than the Conservatives.  39%

3 Labour will be as harsh as the Conservatives.  34%

4 Labour will be harsher than the Conservatives.  7%

So, overall 59% of readers think that Labour will be better than the Conservatives and 41% think they will be just as harsh or even harsher.

It isn’t a overwhelming vote of confidence in Labour, but clearly the majority of respondents think that a Labour government would be an improvement.

Many hundreds of readers left comments explaining their approach to the coming election.  Some even managed some optimism:

“… Vote tactically, wherever you are (see and we could see the Liberal Democrats become the official opposition to Labour. Just imagine how much Ed Davey would highlight the problems facing the disabled and carers.”

“Labour will spend on Public services that matter to disabled people, including the nhs, so although they haven’t said much on benefits I believe there will be positive changes to come under a Labour government, including disability benefits.”

Lots of commentors said they would be voting Labour but with very little hope or optimism:

“We know for DEFINITE that the Tories will try to abolish PIP payments, and make ESA far harder to qualify for. We do NOT know what Labour will do. Therefore, if Labour get into power there is a chance that things will NOT be as bad as if the Tories remain in power. Consequently, it is VITAL to vote out the Tories! Sadly, Labour is our only hope.”

“labour wont be any worse than the torys i will vote labour and hope for the best”

For others, Labour’s silence on most benefits issues was cause for real alarm:

“If there is minimal information (though comments by various shadow ministers do seem somewhat worryingly indicative) then it is almost certainly because  "Labour" intends to continue with the general policy of the Tory administration ... or inflict worse .... but would rather not advertise that oppressive similarity till after the election.“

“No news is not always good news.  I feel labour is not commenting much on any benefits issues as they are likely to stick with at least a number of measures that conservatives have already started, as in the short term at least it will lead to savings.”

And for some, there seemed no hope from any party:

“… sorry but yes I think Labour can be worse or at least as bad, that is not to let the Tories off in any shape or form, but sadly I have no faith in any political party to deliver absolutely anything. We are voiceless at the ballotbox our vote counts for nothing …”

You can read hundreds more comments from claimants here.


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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    (No) hope · 3 days ago
    Come on everybody, hope everyone has responded to the green paper consultation, with considerable noise so that these proposals never see the light of day. No point moaning afterwards if you did not respond and have your say. Use the answers on this site as a guide, put them in your own words, think about your own treatment by the dwp over the years in accessing the necessary support relevant to your own conditions. The more people that respond and give a united response, the better, surely it can’t be ignored…
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    Brian Marriott · 7 days ago
    Vouchers are not good for pip we need money to pay for stuff like taxi car repairs 
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    NANNAJAX · 8 days ago
    They say silence is golden but not if your on Pip , come on Labour help us out we the public voted you in as us on Pip did not agree with the Tories proposal  with what they where going to do vouchers are no good for us some of us have been awarded 10 years  on Pip is that just going to stop my condition is going to get worse with time I have worked over 40 years paid into the system, where is the human rights in all of this .Mucking on with people with disabilities just more stress and worry  no wonder people are suffering with mental health it’s like one vicious circle, come on Labour tell us your next move stop putting us through Hell ,my daughter has 2 disabled children get rid of the green paper an don’t go onto the white one with this put together a fairer  pip to help the disabled of the UK . Us the disabled club need to be heard.
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    Mikt27 · 8 days ago
    It's sad reading some of these comments. I really don't believe Starmer's Labour Party will be any better for those with disabilities.  I have read that they will be reviewing the Consultation currently online,which concludes on 22nd July. It would appear that they too,are considering removing cash payments and replacing it with vouchers or claim forms,both of which could still be faked, as were tenant agreements and employment ect, recently reported in the media.
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    Dare · 11 days ago
    All parties are targeting disability claimants. Simply because this is a way to save money for them. I definitely do not think Labour will be any more fair than Conservatives. 
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    Ellie Kate · 12 days ago
    Cameron was the one that said he would not change or impair Disability benefit..6 months after he got into power he let Ian duncan smith introduce PIP which changed the whole DLA system.. I had an indefinite award for my issues but as soon as I had to have the first assessment by a "qualified health " idiot I lost that and ended up less well off until I went through mandatory appeal.. I have been fighting my own corner with upsetting and painful reviews ever since with so much genuine proof from my health teams that gets brushed aside every time and I still only get the standard rate of Daily care instead of the Higher rate on DLA.. I am too ill and suffering grief from the loss of my dear brave Husband to Cancer to fight the system anymore than I can.. I am just glad he is now out of pain and does not have to go through the same charade as I do just to get the pittance that the Government says I need to live on.. I don't think Starmer will help me any more than Sunaks rabble but we can only hope that he will be more kind and sympathetic to us than the Tories were.
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    Jas · 12 days ago
    Labour were responsible for a lot of suffering under Blair, to disabled people so I doubt anything will change. My uncle at the time worked his entire life had terminal cancer and was told he was fit to work under WCA test another labour idea along with ESA 
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    diceman24 · 13 days ago
    ive been reading alot of peoples views about IFS AND BUTS lets just enjoy the election and watch labour win and see what happens on benefits {disablilty} and if we think its wrong than with us and charities and human rights and laws than we can all fight and win. i personally have not believed in ifs and buts let it come if it does and than fight until than i try to relax and not stress out to much because it does not help my health problems thank you for reading my views 
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    Kieron John Bevan · 13 days ago
    I'm just not going to bother voting for any of them. They should get their own house in order before picking on their own weak and suffering.

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    Molly · 13 days ago

    The act at point A16 states that 

    People who have had a disability in the past
    A16. The Act says that, except for the provisions in Part 12 (Transport5) and section 190 (improvements to let dwelling houses), the provisions of the Act also apply in relation to a person who previously has had
    a disability as defined in paragraphs A1 and A2 (S6(4) and Sch1, Para 9). This means that someone who is no longer disabled, but who met the requirements of the definition in the past, will still be covered by the Act. Also protected would be someone who continues to experience debilitating effects as a result of treatment for a past disability.
    The equality act provides protection for those with disabilities 
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    sue dollery · 13 days ago
    l don't know exactly what will happen . But all l know is as a carer we will never have to stop fighting for are son until we die to keep his benefits going .so fingers crossed and we must all stand to gather 
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    earthmum · 14 days ago
    I can only comment from my own view the last time Labour were in power. The Blair creature did his utmost to reduce benefit and take it away from people who desperately needed it. My opinion  therefore is coloured by my own experience, which was bad, and I strongly believe that Labour would be disastrous for disabled claimants. Having ME for 29 years has opened my eyes to the shenanigans that these so called representatives of the people try once they gain power. Neither of the main parties have the people's interests at heart.  
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    Frances Walsh · 14 days ago
    'Actions speak louder than words' is my message to all the parties. I had brain surgery for  muscle problems. . I still have problems turning my head to the right,
    Due to that and other muscle problems I have begged every NHS dentist and politician to help me get implants, I can not wear dentures,  they keep falling out  and also my mouth burns with them in.
    I am in agony every day and wont go out as i look like I am homeless. There are wires sticking in all directions of the dentures. I have lost too much weight. So where id the money they supposedly put in to dentistry? . last time I had a scan for a different problem i was sent to Harley  Street  really,!!! I am sure they cost a hell of a lot more then the NHS. I wonder what Tory has their hands in that pie, I wish you could look that up
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    wibblum · 14 days ago
    Liz Kendall was on Politics Live just now (see iplayer), and when questioned on her specific intentions for PIP 'reform' she was still worringly vague, but while the emphasis was still firmly on work as a universal cure-all the approach was framed in a *slightly* more claimant-sympathetic light than we've been hearing so far.

    Whether or not that's purely a last-ditch PR exercise by 'Labour' because their 'work will set you free' mantra isn't playing quite as well as they'd hoped with the disabled voter base remains to be seen.
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    Bronc · 14 days ago
    Starmer is committed to sticking with Tory spending plans and has said taxes won't go up while his government will face a £20 billion black hole in public finances. The UK economy is incredibly weak against a backdrop of record public debt to GDP and a global economy which is faltering towards recession. It is clear that he will attack disability benefits. Starmer is an inveterate liar who has made it clear his priority, like all Labour goverments since Blair, will be to please big business and the city of London. If anyone believes Labour will improve things for disabled people on benefits then they are deluding themselves. Together with the unions the disabled community will face the fight of their lives against Starmer's austerity measures.
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    Vicky · 14 days ago
    Personally I think Labour are remaining silent so the right wing media and tories don’t accuse them of being ‘soft on benefits’.  Apparently kier starmers mum was chronically ill for years so I’m hoping he would have slightly more empathy than the tories. 
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      R.B. · 13 days ago
      @Vicky I am hoping the same thing but Cameron had a disabled son and look what he did to disabled people. I agree that Starmer's mother will have coloured his view on disability, unfortunately he has always said that she worked despite finding it difficult so it could mean that he thinks all disabled people should struggle through work to give us some pride. 

      As someone with an invisible disability who is living with their mum because I can't cope with living alone I find Labour's mission to force as many people into work as they can terrifying, plus they have said nothing about helping people who can't work to live with dignity and without constant fear. 

      I almost wish that I had spoilt my ballot paper by writing my fears about the main party's disability policies.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Al · 14 days ago
    PIP-Benefit claimants are only receiving their entitlement to benefit that has been decided by point scoring and independent review processes whilst also taking in account healthcare professional recommendations. The increase in benefit payments that the government has highlighted is their own making as benefits are rising every year with inflation increases that the government quite rightly have to make because it is the government’s own fault by NOT keeping a lid on their own inflation policies, and as usual it’s the claimants who are in receipt of (PIP) that are now taking the blame for the government’s own mishandling of the economy.

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    johnozz · 14 days ago
    give reform a chance
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      Celtic ghirl · 12 days ago
      @Stuart Stuart, CORRECT!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Stuart · 13 days ago
      @Vicky Let's not forget also that Farage and Reform want to do away with the NHS as it is and replace it with an insurance based system too. How people can look at Reform and think it's the best option to cast a vote for is beyond me really. I in no way understand what those peppe are thinking. The systems we currently have aren't perfect but by God I'm very grateful and thankful for them. Once their gone people will definitely regret it and regret that decision. Forage is just a grifter and Reform are a party of what appear to be fringe lunatics and the odd racist and bigot too. I really hope that they don't end up with many seats in this parliament and have any kind or type of influence. The Tories fear of reform has made them lutch even further to the right to the right and let's be honest Labour are nothing like they were founded for in the early 1900s. Keith Hardy would be turning in his grave at what they've become. They too have moved to the right all be it centre right. Thankfully I'm in Scotland and actually have a party of the left/centre left to vote for in the SNP. PIP has been devolved to the Scottish government and rebrabded as Adult Disability Payments (I'm being transfered over to ADP from PIP in October. The SNP (Scottish govt) have said they want to do a fairer claimant based approach to assessments rather than the draconian assessments that currently happen. Plus the fact that the Tories and UK Govt wanna replace PIP money with a voucher scheme is ridiculous to me. Thank god the Scottish Govt now control my PIP (ADP) and will continue to make cash payments. It always seems to be the people on benefits and disabled who pay the price and experience austerity and cuts, every time! Benefit fraud is said to be around £500m a year whereas tax evasion and avoidance is estimated to be over £120 BILLION a year! Yet they focus all their attention and £ on benefits and totally ignored the £120 bn that's there in tax evasion and avoidance. That kinda says it all to me really. Why on earth wouldn't you go after that £120bn? Just think what that could fund and do for the country. How much could that £120bn help improve the NHS, Social care, housing and an array of other things too. I have no faith in Labour at all in all honesty. Labour in Scotland and Westminster adopt a policy called the Bain Principle (look it up) it basically means that Labour will vote against ANY AND EVERY idea and policy put forward by the SNP. That meant that Labour in Scotland voted against free school meals for every primary school child, they voted against free prescriptions for everyone and also voted against the Scottish Child Payment, that's a benefit only available here in Scotland that pays £25 a week for each child in a family on benefits to help lift children out pf poverty. It's helped 100k children so far. Yet Labour voted against it and voted against raising the payment from £20 to £25 at the last Scottish budget. They have totally lost their way. They even day they'd reverse some SNP policies such as free uni tuition for all, free prescriptions and free public transport for everyone under age 22. What is their purpose? Where are their principles? The bain principle was on display in Westminster not long ago when the SNP wanted to hold the debate and vote on a ceasefire in Gaza. Meir Starnwr cajoled the Speaker into changing the debate in favour of what Labour wanted so as they could control the debate and vote, so as Labour MPs could vote for it as if the SNP had held the vote as planned Labour MPs would have to abstain or vite against due to Bain Principle. That's why it caused an uproar in the commons and was on the news etc. I've lost count of how intense Keir Starmer has u-turned on policies he has put forward, sometimes he has u-turned within hours of making an announcement. It's utterly ridiculous. Amd this mantra of 'CHANGE' its nothing nore than an empty soundbite in reality. I'm yet to fully understand WHAT CHANGE? They never seem to say, just repeat ad nauseum the change mantra. Vote for us because we're not the Tories, that's all it seems to amount to. I had a Labour canvaser at ny door on Saturday and she told me 4 lies and I called her out on it. She said vite for Labour mp cos he will help to alleviate NHS waiting times, a lie, bcos NHS is devolved and controlled by MSPs in Homyrood nothing an MP at Westminster can do. Lie 2, better public transport at cheaper prices, again devolved bathing an MP at Westminster can do about that. 3rd lie, improve education and the attainment gap, again devolved to Holyrood nothing an MP at WM can do to tackle that and then her 4th lie was that with GB Energy being set up it'd produce cheaper electricity and help cut my bills as a result. GB Energy is a PFI body, its an investment infrastructure company that'll supply funding to Energy producers it won't actually produce any energy itself. I called her out on all the lies amd her reply was....'I don't think our policy of Change is something that you clearly want and aren't willing to vote for'. Why would I vote for someone who is basing their campaign on 4 lies in order ti try win a seat. Telling lies to people who may not know what issues are devolved to Holyrood and are reserved to Westminster. If you have to lie to potential voters then you obviously have no morals at all and simply cannot be trusted on any matter whatsoever. Again thankfully I'm Scottish and I really hope that in time, and sooner rather than later, Scotland can vote for our independence because the only people best placed to protect things here are the people here. Labour policies are designed to appeal to English voters, Scotland is an afterthought. Here to rape of our natural rescources and nothin more. Norway and Scotland found oil and gas at the same time and Norway has a sovereign wealth fund of over $1 TRILLION and Scotland has a share of £2.7 TRILLION UK national debt. How is that even possible? Scotland has nore oil and Gas than the United Arab Emirates and just look at the difference between the 2. Labour in the 1970s hid the wealth from Scottish oil and gas and downplayed it. All the £ garnered from it went south and built the M25 and Canary Wharf and London and te South East infrastructure whilst Scotlsnd languished in poverty with the UKs 10 poorest areas all in Scotland. That was until the SNP gained control of the Scottish Govt. Now all 10 poorest areas are in England. Labour are charlatans, no better than the Tories are really. Their 2 cheeks of the sake arse, 2 sides of the same coin. Starmer stands for nothing, they even want nore privatisation of the NHS too and have ope lying said so whenever Wes streeting is interviewed and asked about it. People really need to wake up and actually look at what they're offering but in no way at all is Reform or the grifter that is Farage the answer TO ANY QUESTION EVER!

      Sorry for the very long rant btw. But I hope that you actually did read it and get where I'm coming from. Thanks. And I hope you cast a vote for who you think will do best for you and your local area. Good luck! And thanks for reading this, of you did. 😉
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      wibblum · 14 days ago
      @johnozz Give Reform a chance... to make the lives of the poor and the vulnerable even more miserable than under the tories? No thanks. This is what Farage thinks of anyone who depends on the state for their survival:
      “Welfarism, I’m afraid, is making millions of people lazy. ‘I’m too fat, I’m too stupid, I’m too lazy, I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. I smoke drugs, give me money’ … That’s what we’re saying. ‘I don’t need to work, the state will provide for me’ … We cannot afford it.”
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Vicky · 14 days ago
      @johnozz Reform are just as harsh as the tories on benefits and one of their plans is to cut the welfare budgets by billions. 
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    Marie · 14 days ago
    I’m not voting either 

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