Published On: Mon, Nov 25th, 2019

Universal Credit pledge in Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats 2019 manifestos | Personal Finance | Finance

The General Election 2019 is a matter of weeks away, and in the countdown to December 12, political parties have begun launching their manifestos, in a bid to give voters a slightly clearer idea of the direction in which each political party leader would take should they be elected. Following the release of a number of the manifestos, voters may be interested to find out what has been pledged by some of the parties on the topic of Universal Credit and the welfare system.

The manifesto also said: “To help those looking after family members, especially women, we will support the main carer in any household receiving the Universal Credit payment.

“And we will continue our efforts through the tax and benefits system to reduce poverty, including child poverty. Children should grow up in an environment with no limits to their potential – which is one of the reasons we are making it a priority to put more money in the pockets of low-paid workers and maintaining our commitment to free school meals.”

Labour Party

The Labour Party made headlines last week for vowing to scrap Universal Credit, should the party win the General Election.

The manifesto reads: “The Tories’ flagship social security programme, Universal Credit (UC), has been a catastrophe.


“It has pushed thousands of people into poverty, caused families to lose their homes and forced parents to visit food banks in order to feed their children.”

It continued: “Labour will scrap UC. We will immediately stop moving people onto it and design an alternative system that treats people with dignity and respect.

“Our ambition in designing this system will be to end poverty by guaranteeing a minimum standard of living.”

The Labour Party said they would begin developing the system immediately, however due to people’s lives depending on it, the party said the major policy change would not be delivered overnight.

Instead, the party said it would implement “an emergency package of reforms” which includes ending the five-week wait and suspending the sanctions regime.

Among other commitments, the party also pledged to split payments and pay the child element to a primary carer, as well as scrapping the benefit cap and the two child limit.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats has pledged to build a system “that works for the modern world to support those who need it and help people back into work”.

The manifesto includes the promise to “reform Universal Credit to be more supportive of the self-employed” as well as the commitment to “make the welfare system work” by reducing the initial payment wait from five weeks to five days, removing the two-child limit and the benefits cap, and to increase work allowances and introduce a second earner work allowance.

Elsewhere in the manifesto, the Liberal Democrats have also pledged to “extend free school meals to all children in primary education and to all secondary school children whose families receive Universal Credit, as well as promoting school breakfast clubs”.

Green Party

The Green Party has proposed delivering a Universal Basic Income (UBI). This is a weekly payment which everyone would receive, once it is fully phased in.

All pensioners would receive £178 per week, while the adult rate would be £89 per week.

The party said that it would be with a view to all adults being in receipt of their full rate of UBI by 2025.

The Green Party said the Green UBI would replace Universal Credit.

Brexit Party

Last week, the Brexit Party published a “Contract with the People”.

In this document, the party said that Universal Credit “needs to be revisited”.

The party also pledged to:

  • “Support those who have paid into the system with accelerated payment processes (five-week maximum), and continue to root out fraud.
  • “Undertake a 12-month review of the system and bring in reforms within two years.
  • “Review the position of women unexpectedly short-changed by recent rises in the state pension age.
  • “Extend the use of dormant funds to support civil society.”

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