Labour’s position on universal benefits “has not changed”


Ed Miliband was on WATO at lunchtime today, and said:

“We’re supporters of the Winter Fuel Allowance and those other benefits. We introduced them when we were in Government. Of course in our policy review we will look at all these issues,”

Plenty of people have read plenty into that final sentence, but a Labour spokesperson was clear this afternoon that Labour values the Winter Fuel Allowance – and its universality:

“Of course we look at all these issues but as Ed made clear twice in the interview Labour supports the Winter Fuel Allowance. Labour introduced the Winter Fuel Allowance. He made clear in his interview in January with James Landale in January that universality is “part of the bedrock” of our system. The position has not changed.”

The Labour Party policy review will obviously look at all welfare payments – but Stewart Wood was clear at the recent One Nation conference about the effectiveness of universal benefits. I don’t see that changing any time soon…

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