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Labour would encourage disabled people to find work

a woman at work in her wheelchair

Labour has announced they will encourage disabled people to find work if they win the next general election.

The party’s acting work and pensions secretary, Alison McGoveren, said everyone has “the right” to find support when looking for jobs and advice should be tailored around their needs.

The MP went on to say if Labour was in power there would be “big changes” to the welfare system after the government announced reforms to personal independence payments [PIP] earlier this week.

If Labour win the next general election they promise to end the “tick box culture” which determines if people are eligible for PIP and introduce more bespoke and localised support for the disabled community.

The PIP benefit is for disabled people to help them with additional costs, but the government intends to change the system so it is more difficult to qualify for the payment.

Ms McGoveren told i Labour had “long called for changes to PIP” to handle the backlog and make the procedure more accurate, but she stressed the party must “help people get into work”.

The opposition wants to introduce a new system on how job centres support disabled people and give more powers to local councils.

McGoververn said: “Disabled people in the UK have the right to expect to be able to work, just like anyone else in our country.

“The truth is, making that situation real is going to take big changes.

“We will only fix the social security system if – as Beveridge wrote in his report in 1942 – we have full employment and a well-functioning National Health Service.”

She continued: “We believe in the benefits of work for everyone – we are all better off with the autonomy and self‑determination that comes from good work,” she wrote.

“That’s as true for disabled people as it is for anyone who isn’t disabled. It’s time for a change – for a Labour Government that can bring us an end to the chaos and a plan for our future.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak insisted the reform to PIP is not about saving cash, but to make the benefit system “fairer to the taxpayer, better targeted to individual needs and harder to exploit” and help disabled people into employment.

[ Labour previously admitted to dropping the disability rights pledge from their policy plan. ]

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