• Welcome! It’s great to see you. Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

Election 2015: Conservative benefit cut options leaked

SarahD

SarahD

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
2,095
Location
UK
Election 2015: Conservative benefit cut options leaked

Election 2015: Conservative benefit cut options leaked - BBC News

The Conservatives are considering options for scrapping several benefits, the BBC has learned.

Leaked documents from the Department for Work and Pensions also suggest a regional benefits cap, taxing disability benefits and reducing eligibility for the carers' allowance. The proposals are aimed at helping to save £12bn from the welfare budget by 2017/18. The Conservatives insisted the proposals were not party policy.

"This is ill informed and inaccurate speculation," a spokeswoman for Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said. "Officials spend a lot of time generating proposals - many not commissioned by politicians. "It's wrong and misleading to suggest that any of this is part of our plan." The leaked documents were prepared by civil servants and commissioned by Conservative Party officials.

"True colours"

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour's shadow work and pensions secretary, said: "If they are ruling out these extreme cuts for the most disabled and carers, then it is clear they will be hitting the tax credits, and support for children, for millions of working families.
"Labour has a better plan to control the costs of social security, by tackling the root causes of spending in low pay and rising housing costs.
"We will raise the National Minimum Wage to £8 an hour, promote a living wage, and get at least 200,000 homes built a year."

Liberal Democrat general election campaign spokesperson Lord Scriven said: "The election campaign has barely kicked off and already the Tories are showing their true colours.
"Conservative plans for £12bn worth of welfare cuts means £1,500 cut for 8m households.
"To build a stronger economy and a fairer society, the welfare system should be designed to help people get on in life.
"But, surprise, surprise the Tories are hell-bent on punishing disabled people and working families with crippling welfare cuts."

Carers' allowance is one of those thought to be under consideration.

Benefit cap

Welfare reform has been a controversial, but often popular, policy pursued by the coalition over the past five years and the Conservatives intend to pursue more changes should they win in May's general election.
Chancellor George Osborne refused to give details of how the Conservatives planned to save the £12bn when questioned last week following the Budget.
He has previously said the Tories would freeze the rate at which benefits are paid to people of working age, while Prime Minister David Cameron has discussed lowering the benefits cap - the maximum amount in benefits a household can receive - from the current £26,000 to £23,000.
The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies suggests those measures would save no more than about £2bn a year by 2017-18.

An investigation by BBC News has uncovered several of the benefits under consideration for change:

Industrial Injuries Compensation Scheme - could be replaced by companies providing industrial injury insurance policy for employees. Any that did not would become members of a default national industrial injuries scheme, similar to the programme for asbestos sufferers. DWP predicted saving - £1bn

Carer's Allowance - this could be restricted to those eligible for Universal Credit. Leaked documents suggest about 40% of claimants would lose out. DWP predicted saving - £1bn

The contributory element of Employment and Support Allowance and Job Seekers Allowance - currently claimants who have paid enough National Insurance contributions can get the benefits with little means testing; DWP analysis suggests 30% of claimants, over 300,000 families, would lose about £80 per week. DWP predicted saving - £1.3bn in 2018/19

Disability benefits - Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments and Attendance Allowance (for over 65s who have personal care needs) would no longer be paid tax free. Possible saving - £1.5bn per annum (based on IFS Green Budget calculation )

Council Tax Support - to be incorporated into Universal Credit. Possible saving - not known

Child Benefit - Limiting the benefit to the first two children. Possible saving IFS estimates £1bn saving per annum in the long run but little initially

Regional Benefit Caps - The £23,000 limit would vary in different parts of the country, with for instance Londoners receiving the top amount due to the higher cost of living. Possible saving - not known and dependent on where levels were set
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has said he is in favour of a regional benefits cap, but the idea has been opposed by some Labour MPs.

Meetings about these options have taken place in recent weeks between the chancellor and Mr Duncan Smith.

Easier cuts'

It is also understood that the permanent secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, has been coordinating some of the efforts to find savings.
The government has cut around £20bn from projected welfare spending over the course of the past five years, through a range of measures from freezing payments rates to cutting housing benefit.

But Robert Joyce, a senior economist with the IFS, says finding another £12bn over the next two years will not be easy. "The easier benefit cuts are the ones that will have been done first, so what's left will be harder.
"In addition, the Conservatives want to do this by 2017-18, in the next two years. It means they have to be looking at less palatable options that would involve overnight takeaways from certain families."

Rosanna Trudgian, policy officer at the charity Mencap, said the proposed changes were unfair. "Disabled people don't choose to have their disability. They don't choose to pay for these additional costs related to that disability," she told BBC News.
"For example, if you have to go to hospital on a regular basis and you are paying for those huge car parking fees. Therefore, it's just unfair if this is treated as taxable income."
 
Anime-Alchemy

Anime-Alchemy

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
4,585
Location
On a comet
It seems as if who ever gets into power, they will make cuts from some areas. What other solutions are there?
 
LORD BURT

LORD BURT

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
34,912
Location
Mordor
The difference between the Tories and Labour is that the Tories are quite content to cut money to the more poor and vulnerable in society.

And sure it can be effective it terms of financial gain.

I do feel there is a tide of approval from wealthy types who have no contact with the vulnerable.
 
R

ramboghettouk

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2008
Messages
16,755
Location
london
wheres your evidence labour cares theres cross party support that labour dwp minister pournelle said he'd stigmatise those on benefits
 
porkpie

porkpie

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2014
Messages
433
Location
England
Honestly I think its all scare mongering, for all we know the Tories could of leaked that proposal 'plant the seed and let it grow into a tree in peoples heads, now its out in the open what they propose.
 
Top