The comrades in Lewisham Deptford have amended their welfare state/benefits motion.

Supporting those in need: rebuilding the welfare state

We note

  1. the 8 August ONS figures showing that improvement in life expectancy has virtually stopped.
  2. the 6 August Child Poverty Action Group report on how Universal Credit’s flaws are leading to low-income families arbitrarily losing as much as £258 a month!
  3. the July Resolution Foundation figures showing the poorest third’s incomes fell last year, even before inflation.

The situation is shameful. We must reverse the drive, accelerating since 2010, to make welfare less and less about supporting those in need and more and more stingy, punitive and coercive.

Neither Universal Credit nor the existing framework (JSA, ESA, etc) are good. We must redesign benefits in close consultation with recipients, workers and their organisations.

This must be part of a wider anti-poverty program, with a goal that by the end of our first term foodbanks disappear.

We commit to

  1. Ending the benefit freeze; uprating with inflation or earnings, whichever is higher.
  2. Reversing all cuts/reductions; increasing benefits to afford a comfortable, not minimum, income.
  3. Entitlement conditions that are straightforward, inclusive and available to all, including migrants (scrap ‘No recourse to public funds’).
  4. Paying benefits for all children and dependents.
  5. Abolishing all sanctions.
  6. Scrapping Work Capability and similar assessments.
  7. Relevant health issues being addressed using medical professionals with appropriate knowledge of individuals’ conditions and disabilities.
  8. Delivery by paid public servants via networks accessible to everyone, including provision of face-to-face support for all who need it. Reversing DWP cuts and privatisation.
Rebuilding the Benefits system at #Lab18
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