People want well paid jobs rather than welfare. Work is the way out of poverty. Living on welfare condemns people to living in poverty. The nature and scope of welfare payments has increased massively since benefits were first introduced. The concept of the safety net, which would catch people in hard times and help them to recover has long been forgotten.
The challenge for government is not to pay benefit but to so stimulate enterprise that good jobs are provided for all those who can work. We believe that government must, through the provision of education and opportunity, help people to avoid circumstances where welfare support is necessary. Success is measured by not how much but by how little government has to pay in benefits.
We must develop personal and community resilience, so people have savings and can acquire assets. Financial security is a vitally important aspect of improving mental and physical health.
The Peoples Party will:
ensure that economic growth provides real jobs that pay living wages avoiding the need for benefit support
- provide much greater help – education and opportunities to stop people making the wrong lifestyle choices, in particular choosing single parenthood and large families. We will also encourage marriage as the foundation of family life
- make fundamental changes in the benefit system abolishing all existing benefits and payments
- create a cash limited Welfare Fund of £26bn, sufficient to pay 2.5 million people £200 per week
- ensure that a proper welfare safety net is put in place so that none is excluded from help
- increase the amount paid to severely disabled people, especially those incapable of work through critical illness
- make short benefit payments reflect previous salary levels and disregard savings
- introduce time limits for the payment of welfare to those people who are capable of work. We will end the something for nothing welfare culture
- we will look to leverage welfare benefit by introducing deals with supermarkets and others that maximise the value of support
- create a Personal Welfare Service (PWS) that will tailor support to individual and local circumstances.
- higher benefits must be paid to ensure that those in need, especially the small numbers with disabilities that make them incapable of work, get the generous support that they deserve. The rule guiding PWS staff will be to do unto others as they would have done to themselves
- abolish the Department of Work and Pensions, with all payments being assessed by local PWS staff and payments made through the Inland Revenue
- investigate the establishment of a compulsory, pooled insurance scheme, covering home, car, travel, illness and unemployment
- see welfare as part of a much bigger picture of giving financial security and personal wellbeing. We will actively reward saving by ensuring active interest rates for Personal Welfare Accounts.