Labour confirms PIP, Work Capability Assessment and Universal Credit shake-up

The Department for Work and Pensions could revamp Personal Independence Payment (PIP) under the new Labour government. The DWP faces a PIP shake-up amid the Cost of Living crisis, with the new Labour Party government fleshing out plans.

The Labour Party has pledged a review of the entire benefits system. The Labour manifesto said the party is committed to “reviewing Universal Credit so that it makes work pay and tackles poverty” after its landslide victory last Thursday.

It added: “We want to end mass dependence on emergency food parcels, which is a moral scar on our society.” Labour’s Alison McGovern, who has been made a minister in the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), recently gave a newspaper interview in which she said the current welfare system demands “big changes”.

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It includes replacing job centres with more bespoke and localised support for unemployed people. She said: “PIP replaced DLA (Disability Living Allowance), and now we are hearing that PIP is the problem.” The party said: “We believe the Work Capability Assessment is not working and needs to be reformed or replaced, alongside a proper plan to support disabled people to work."

The Labour manifesto stated: “Our system will be underpinned by rights and responsibilities people who can work, should work and there will be consequences for those who do not fulfil their obligations. Long waits for treatment of health conditions, particularly mental health, are contributing to the rise in economic inactivity.”

It added: “Labour will reform employment support so it drives growth and opportunity." New DWP boss Liz Kendall did not specify what form the tougher measures on universal credit would take. “Under our changed Labour party, if you can work there will be no option of a life on benefits,” she said in a speech to the centre-left Demos thinktank in London, where she sought to outline Labour’s commitment on “investing” in young people.

“Not just because the British people believe rights should go hand in hand with responsibilities. But because being unemployed or lacking basic qualifications when you’re young can harm your job prospects and wages for the rest of your life.”