While the mainstream parties debate whether to cut or raise benefits and other forms of social security, our solution is focused upon creating a serious national economy that will provide honest, stable and dignified work. A full employment economy, rather than a culture of welfare, is where the real solution to our unemployment crisis lies. However, we also propose fundamental reform to social security which is based on our wider theme of restoring a proper demarcation between public and private interests. Our sprawling benefits system has resulted in taxpayers effectively subsidising private interests. For example, Housing Benefit is a huge private sector subsidy brought about by the collapse of social housing stock. Tax Credits are a taxpayer subsidy of low-wage employers. We would implement changes to return to a simple system which gives straightforward help to those who genuinely need it.
A Balanced Approach to Welfare
We recognise the need to tackle benefits culture while at the same actually ensuring jobs are there for the unemployed, protecting genuinely vulnerable groups such as the disabled, clamping down on fraud and putting UK citizens first.
A Simplified Benefits System
The current web of benefit types is needlessly complex and wastes significant amounts of money on administration. We support a simpler system that would merge many existing benefits into small core set, and eliminate others by reducing taxpayer subsidisation of the private sector (eg Housing Benefit and Tax Credits).
End Taxpayer Subsidies to Private Landlords
We would work to phase out Housing Benefit, which is effectively a taxpayer subsidy of private landlords that has many unintended consequences including rising rental prices, and restore a more substantial supply of affordable council housing in its place.
End Taxpayer Subsidies to Low-Pay Employers
We would work to phase out a myriad of benefits, such as tax credits, that currently go to huge numbers of people in work. We believe that this financial burden should not fall on the taxpayer, but that employers should be required to pay a more adequate minimum wage. We propose a minimum wage of £9.50, currently already paid by many companies for unskilled roles, to do away with the need for a complex network of low-income benefits.
End Taxpayer Subsidisation of the Childcare Industry
Private childcare companies frequently run profits on government subsidies that place a significant strain on the social security budget. This very inefficient system, where parent's often make only a little more by working than the cost of the childcare itself, is something that must be tackled. We propose instead a far simpler and more cost-effective Parental Support Allowance available to mothers and to single fathers: a solution that is also far more preferable from our pro-family perspective.
Protect Triple-Lock on Pensions
Plans to remove the triple-lock fail to scratch the surface of our pensions crisis. The real problem is caused by a top-heavy population; our broad, pro-family platform of reform is the only way to develop a sustainable society and combat the (non-immigrant) population decline that is making our pensions system unsustainable with current population trends.
Return Work Capability Assessments to GPs
We would end the use of private, profit-based companies like ATOS to assess work capability, and restore this role to GPs where it belongs.
Scrap the Bedroom Tax
We would scrap this unpopular tax, which has raised significantly less revenue than predicted, while proving to be difficult and costly to administer.
Reverse Reduction of Employment and Support Allowance
We would reverse the recent cuts to ESA which reduced the rate for many claimants by £30 per week, leaving them with standard Jobseekers’ Allowance rates.
Benefits for British Citizens Only
We would restrict benefit payments to British citizens only, saving vital funds for UK citizens facing genuine hardship.