Here we outline some of Labour’s key policies in relation to welfare and other important issues relevant to our readers.
All of the policies included below have been taken directly from Labour’s 2015 general election manifesto.
Disclaimer: Welfare Weekly is providing you with this information in order to assist you in better understanding Labour’s policies. This should not be seen as an endorsement of the Labour Party and/or their policies.
Helping people into work
Labour will do more to help unemployed people get the skills they need for work, testing jobseekers’ maths, English and IT skills within six weeks of them claiming benefits. They will be required to take up training where this will improve their chances of getting a job.
There will be a guaranteed, paid job for all young people who have been out of work for one year, and for all those over 25 and out of work for two years. It will be a job that they have to take, or they will lose their benefits.
They will increase the National Minimum Wage to more than £8 an hour by October 2019.
Labour will ban exploitative zero-hours contracts so that anyone working regular hours for more than 12 weeks will get a right to a regular contract.
They will promote the Living Wage by giving a tax rebate to companies that sign up to become Living Wage employers in the first year of the next Parliament.
Labour will expand free childcare from 15 to 25 hours per week for parents of three- and four-year-olds, paid for with an increase in the bank levy. They will double paid paternity leave.
They will introduce a legal guarantee of access to wraparound childcare for parents of primary school children. Childcare will run from 8am to 6pm and be provided by the local primary school.
Labour will require Sure Start centres to offer childcare, opening up an extra 50,000 childcare places to families.
They will make it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.
Labour will offer a guaranteed apprenticeship for every school leaver.
Social security spending
Labour has pledged to cap structural social security spending as part of each spending review.
They will pause and review the Universal Credit programme to ensure it is affordable and fit for purpose.
Labour say they will allow local authorities that negotiate rent reductions on behalf of tenants who are claiming housing benefit to retain some of the savings, on the condition that the money is invested in building homes.
They will keep the Benefit Cap and ask the Social Security Advisory Committee to examine if it should be lower in some areas.
Labour has promised not to cut tax credits in the next Parliament.
They will pay a higher rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance to those who have paid in over the years, funded by asking people to contribute for longer before they receive the contributory benefit.
Labour will cap child benefit rises for two years.
Migrants will not be able to claim state benefits until they have been in the country for at least 2 years, and Labour will stop child benefit being sent to families living abroad.
Supporting disabled people
Labour has pledged to abolish the ‘cruel and unfair’ Bedroom Tax.
They will reform the Work Capability Assessment and focus it on the support disabled people need to get into work, with an independent scrutiny group of disabled people given a central role in monitoring it.
Labour will commission a separate Work Support Programme for disabled people.
Labour has promised to keep the triple-lock on the state pension introduced by the Tory-led coalition, so that pensioner incomes increase by inflation, earnings or 2.5 per cent, whichever is highest.
They will restrict winter fuel payments for the richest five per cent of pensioners but guarantee no changes beyond this — to the winter fuel payment, free TV licenses, or free bus passes.
Labour will reform the pensions market so that pension providers put savers first, and protect consumers from retirement rip-offs.
They will keep the flexibility over how to access your pension savings that came into place this April, but will introduce measures to ensure people get a good deal.
Labour will end time-limited, 15-minute visits, introducing ‘year of care’ budgets to incentivise better care in the home.
They will recruit 5,000 new homecare workers to help care for those with the greatest needs at home.
Labour will create new rights to receive care in the home, including supporting more people to remain at home at the end of their life.
They will introduce a system of safety checks to identify risks facing vulnerable older people and enable preventative measures to be put in place, such as grab-rails to prevent falling.
Vulnerable older people, disabled people and those with complex needs will get a single point of contact for their care and a personal care plan designed with them and shaped around their needs.
Improving the NHS
Labour will repeal the Health and Social Care Act and stop the drive towards NHS privatisation..
They will recruit 8,000 more GPs and 20,000 more nurses.
Labour will guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours, and on the same day for those who need it.
They will guarantee that patients wait no longer than one week for vital cancer tests and results by 2020. Labour will also create a Cancer Treatments Fund so patients have access to the latest drugs, surgery and radiotherapy.
Labour will integrate health & care services into a seamless system of whole-person care.
They will improve mental health support, especially for young people, by prioritising new investment in under 18s and ensuring teachers have the best training.
We have taken great care to ensure that all of the most important policies relevant to our readers have been included in this list. But if we’ve forgotten something please leave a comment below or contact [email protected]
Last updated at 5:46pm on Monday 13 April to add four more Labour policies.