A Saftey Net That Works

The social security system is not working as it should: it is driving people further into poverty and forcing families to rely on foodbanks to get by. The Conservatives have designed the welfare system based on their backward-looking view of work and families and are making the matter worse. Liberal Democrats are looking to the future and will build a system that works for the modern world to support those who need it and help people back into work. We will:

  • Make the welfare system work by:
    • Reducing the wait for the first payment from five weeks to five days.
    • Tackling child poverty by removing the two-child limit and the benefits cap.
    • Making work pay by increasing work allowances and introducing a second earner work allowance.
  • Establish a legal right to food to enshrine in law the government’s responsibility to ensure that existing and new public policy is audited for its impact on food security.
  • Reform Universal Credit to be more supportive of the self-employed.
  • Increase Local Housing Allowance in line with average rents in an area.
  • Abolish the bedroom tax and introduce positive incentives for people to downsize.
  • Ensure that everyone gets the help they need by separating employment support from benefits administration and increase spending on training and education.
  • Introduce an incentive-based scheme to replace the current sanctions system, which does not encourage people into work, penalises people with mental health issues and deters people from claiming support.
  • Reverse the cuts to Employment Support Allowance for those in the work-related activity group.
  • End Work Capability Assessments and replace them with a new system that is run by local authorities and based on real-world tests.
  • Reinstate the Independent Living Fund.
  • Radically overhaul the Bereavement Allowance, slashed by the Conservatives, so that widows and widowers receive far more support and extend the payments to unmarried couples when a parent dies.
  • Aim to end fuel poverty by 2025 by providing free energy retrofits for low-income homes as part of our emergency programme to reduce energy consumption from all the UK’s buildings.