How do you think Labour will treat disabled claimants if, as seems increasingly likely, they form the next government?  Will they be better or worse than the Conservatives?

Last week’s Labour party manifesto left our readers divided on what the future might be like for disabled claimants under Labour.  The document made few references to benefits and gave no clues as to what its attitude would be to major issues such as ESA to UC migration, proposed Green paper changes to PIP or how exactly the WCA might be reformed.

Many readers felt that Labour was just being cautious, because any hint of being soft on claimants would be jumped on by the right-wing press.

Others thought that Labour were saying little because they do not have anything positive to say to disability benefits claimants.  Some think there is little difference between the two parties and some commentors even believe that Labour would be worse news for claimants than the Conservatives.

Certainly, the manifesto could have offered some hope to, for example Carer’s Allowance claimants. A change to the current cliff edge earnings limit would not have major cost implications.

And, to ensure claimant safety, Labour could have offered to look again at the very tight ESA to UC migration deadline imposed on the DWP by the Conservatives.  Delaying the transfer would not cost anything, given that it was previously delayed to 2028 to save money.

Labour could also have stated in the manifesto that they would look at the Green paper proposals for PIP, but that it was unlikely that a voucher system or a catalogue would play any part in any future plans.  Again, this would not have had cost implications.

None of these undertakings would have offered much in the way of ammunition to the right wing press, but all of them would have reassured claimants that Labour would give them some respite from the current relentless attacks.

On the other hand, no part of Labour’s plans include cutting benefits in order to raise cash for other purposes, such as tax cuts.

And, whilst they have said they will replace or reform the WCA, they have not suggested that they will reform PIP.

So, if benefits will play a major part in deciding who you will vote for, readers will have to make an educated guess as to what Labour might do based on minimal information.

Knowing what other claimants are thinking may be helpful in reaching a decision.

So, please take part in our poll to tell us whether you think life would be easier, harder or much the same under Labour rather than the Conservatives and, if you wish, give your reasons in the comments section below.

You can only vote once and we’ll publish the results on Monday 1 July.

This poll is now closed

 

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    Mark Wilkinson · 1 days ago
    Because all the new labour party ever about is punishing disabled and the vulnerable and the sick and the poor there is no difference between them and the conservative party and there both scapegoating us while balancing the economy books on the backs of people like us less fortunate that's why I did not vote the labour party because I don't trust as far as I can throw them I hope Nigel garage moves in and punishes labour party like you would not believe after all they deserve a good kicking for lying there way in to power I hope there term in power is short lived affair 
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    Linda robinson · 3 days ago
    I’m disabled I really need my pips or I can’t pay for my car 
    Which is my only freedom
    I hardly cope now so if vouchers was to take place I would commit suicide 
    Sooner than be treated as a 2nd rate citizen I worked all my life cared for my mum from age 13 till she died I’m my home at 82 without any financial help from government 
    Fed up of us getting targeted like we don’t matter once we get ill 🤧 
    I’m worried sick now 
    L Robinson 

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    Stuart · 13 days ago
    Labour will not do what the Conservative party were because they did they would be no better than them so what would be the point
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    William · 16 days ago
    I think they will do better than the conservatives but they couldn’t do any worse,I just won’t the tories out they have had their time .
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    Anneee · 17 days ago
    Keir Starmer said he finds it easy to be ruthless! They have left disabled people in a quandary over what will happen to them if they vote Labour. I am a lifelong Labour voter but, without the clarification I have written twice to ask for, they have lost my vote.
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    Chrisnormansell@hotmail.com · 18 days ago
    Is it legal for the Conservative government to take money from disabled people and give vouchers? These are worthless to a great many disabled folk who already have items needed. Also from public funding mp's get paid. How about they take vouchers instead of cash see how they would like to told what and where to get things from. Tories are picking on the people who are vulnerable,  do we need this kind of leadership picking on and taking from old and ill people. We know they tried to get the pension lock off again picking on the old and vulnerable people. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Anon · 16 days ago
      @Chrisnormansell@hotmail.com It isn't illegal if it becomes law through  legislation. This is normally a vote in the House of Commons and then the House of Lords.
      Many other countries have a voucher system.
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    Timewarp · 19 days ago
    Just because the Conservatives are thoroughly rotten, does not mean that Starmer's "Labour" intend to be any improvement .....

    ** We are not the party of people on benefits. We don’t want to be seen, and we're not, the party to represent those who are out of work **
    Rachel Reeves 
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    Liv · 19 days ago
    I think Labour are probably being cautious. They didn't actually say that much on benefits at the last election either and they still got a lot of right wing bad press over benefits - and much more. I really can't believe they could be anything like as nasty as the Conservatives are being. However in my area Labour never get a sniff and lib dem have made huge gains in the locals and likely to win in my constituency but only a tad ahead of Greens, who have more favourable local issues at heart. I'm probably going to vote Green for this reason but would probably vote Labour if they were likely to do better locally. I just want to see the end of this awful and cruel government we have now.
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    Vickie · 19 days ago
    I will be voting for Lib Dems. Ed Davey was a young carer and is a carer for his disabled son. I think he will be the most clued up on disability than any other party.
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    Tina Karimi · 21 days ago
    Labour has always been supportive of disabled people and I'm sure they won't introduce vouchers to save money 
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    Jeannie · 21 days ago
    Conservative proposals to replace pip with vouchers just shows they have no understanding how either or both physical and/or mental health issues affect people. I am disgusted thinking about the conservative proposals and it would head to make claimants more ill than they are now. 
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    Barbara · 23 days ago
    The labour party have said nothing at all what their plans are for disabled people who claim pip .We are have heard nothing from them about the green paper proposal by the Conservative party. This subject as been kept out of any debates . We all know labour never change any thing that the Conservatives plans put in place . I wont be voting for either party . 
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    Gary slater · 23 days ago
    I don't trust any of them but I think voting the conservatives back in would be disastrous for disabled voters. I'd personally rather the devil I don't know than the evil devil I do. 
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      Klarry · 21 days ago
      @Gary slater I actually agree with you. When I heard sunak was PM I said he needs to go as he will be deadly for disabled people.
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    Peter · 23 days ago
    I need to be free of this self indulgent Tory government who only give to receive, the wealth gap continues to widen meaning the poor get poorer the Rich get richer . Selfishness is becoming a vote winner,if you're disabled and need some sort of help,Think about who you vote for,🤔
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      Cheese · 22 days ago
      @Peter Keir's Labour Party isn't Labour. It's all about the BIG economy. The individual will not matter under Keir. I really wish that we had a party worth voting for.
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    Judith H · 23 days ago
    The fact that Labour seem to be avoiding giving any details about their policy on the disabled claiming benefits makes me extremely wary. Talking about reforms and giving no reassurances smacks of a negative approach that they dare not reveal before the election.  
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    Chantelle · 24 days ago
    I understand the dilemma that people face when it comes to trusting Labour to treat the disabled better, but you have to remember that Labour is headed by a human rights lawyer who will be looking at the UN's declaration of the UK breaching disability rights under the last 14 years of Tory rule. Right now, Labour have to play the evil game of politics in order to win, by gunning for the center and right-leaning vote to gain a majority. Remember also that every time Labour come to power, they under-promise and over-deliver.

    If you are an undecided voter, take this advice; The Conservatives are in possibly their worst state in existence since their formation 200 years ago. The most successful party in the world, arguably, they have been in power for most of those years, but they rarely ever get the majority of the vote share and yet they get all the power they need when they win. Next week is perhaps the only time in our lifetimes where we can not only hand them their lowest number of seats in Parliament, but we also have the opportunity to unseat them from becoming the official opposition.

    Vote tactically, wherever you are (see stopthetories.vote) 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. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make the Tories go away for a long time, or even for good, as they will have far less media attention and opportunity for screen time as a 'smaller party' tends to suffer.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      CaroA · 21 days ago
      @Chantelle Really thoughtful Chantellr thank you. I hadn't thought that my vote could affect who is in opposition too.  
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      Timewarp · 23 days ago
      @Chantelle A, yes -- "remember that Labour is headed by a human rights lawyer". 
      Given his very leading role in the unjust incarceration of Assange (for exposing war crimes!) and fervently  unconditional support for the continuous bombing of unarmed and defenceless civilians, including the use of white phosphorous, ...  the sort of alleged "human rights" that Starmer represents are certainly not a promise of anything good,  or even remotely humane.
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      Rainbow · 23 days ago
      @Chantelle What a fantastic and helpful way of looking at things. I think you're absolutely right on all points.
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    Ainsley · 24 days ago
    I have been a Labour voter since I could vote , I don’t think they would dare step out of line on this topic, or the health service as they both go hand in hand . 
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    j · 24 days ago
    I feel no one really cares about disabled people. 
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    AmyMCM · 25 days ago
    I don't have any confidence in Labour under Starmer to support benefit claimants. When people tell you who they are, believe them - and Starmer, Reeves, Streeting et al have been telling us who they are for a while now. The most recent example being Starmer describing benefit claimants as 'undignified' in the Telegraph. I don't believe this is an attempt to trick right-wing voters, I think it's his real opinion.

    I don't believe that putting pressure on them after they've won power will be effective. I've been too sick to work for nearly 20 years so I remember the axing of Incapacity Benefit and introduction of ESA by the last Labour govt. Plenty of organisations raised concerns about ESA, the WCA and Atos then, and they were ignored. Starmer has shown no willingness to listen to child poverty campaigners about removing the 2-child benefit cap and that would be extremely uncontroversial. So the idea he would become more compassionate about sickness benefits is unlikely imo.

    I understand the urge to get the Tories out, they have been horrendous, but I don't think anything will change under Labour, and our lives may even get worse. I voted Green as I live in a safe Labour seat where the Greens came second in the local elections last month. If I lived in a Tory/Lab marginal my decision might be different, but tbh even then I don't think I could vote for a party that is openly contemptuous of me, and people like me.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Liv · 19 days ago
      @AmyMCM Good comment. I also have my reservations about Starmer but hope Labour still have enough decent MP's to count. I'm voting strategically so will be LD or Green in my area.
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    Matthew Leonard · 25 days ago
    Having watched, in horror, last night's Undercover A and E on channel four, Labour will be forced to spend many billions of pounds of taxpayers money to try and sort out some of the issues in the NHS, and in particular social care. The Treasury have always been very reluctant to do this due to the sheer cost.  If Labour do go down this road, then, as the Institute for Fiscal Studies have indicated, they will have to either raise taxes (probably council tax by revaluation) or cut public services. They will probably do both. The areas where they will probably cut are education, justice/prisons, international aid, defence, and in particular, social security.  I wouldn't be surprised if they did some of the following:

    a, tax PIP
    b, means test PIP (so anyone earning in excess of £30K will be ineligible)
    c, make eligibility much tighter, especially those conditions where there is a significant 'lifestyle' element to it, eg mental health issues medicated by alcohol/recreational drugs.
    d, merge PIP with UC

    I'd be interested in people's thoughts.....
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      Jacky · 18 days ago
      @Matthew Leonard I agree with you, Kier Starmer has said on air that he will not tax working people so who does that leave, pensioners, I don't get full state pension as I've been unable to work for many years due to my disabilities, will he tax PIP, I get enhanced rate of PIP, my adult son gets standard rate as he is autistic & tries so hard to get work. My parents were labour voters as was mine until boris.  During Labour governments in the past my parents were on the housing waiting list for 20 years in London, I couldn't get work because of my disabilities & didn't get much help, Starmer just talks about growing the economy  & then we'll be better of, how long is that going to take.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Matthew Leonard · 23 days ago
      @Anon I really meant Accident and Emergency and social care.  As for the rest of the nhs, - and nobody is going to like this - you will have to pay upfront for treatment, see the GP etc or take out health insurance.  The funding model is not sustainable. It will have to be the NAES (National Accident and Emergency Service)
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Anon · 24 days ago
      @Matthew Leonard Money will not fix the NHS, it needs a complete overhaul and is not sustainable in it's current form.

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