This is part of a series looking at the different political parties’ 2015 General Election manifestos, specifically with regards to disabled people. This post is looking at the Conservative Party.
Their manifesto includes:
– Continuing with their long-term economic plan. This includes cutting the welfare budget by £12 billion – they do not specify exactly what parts of the welfare budget they will cut, but it is highly likely that it will disproportionately affect disabled people. They also plan to cut £13 billion from government departmental spending, outside of the NHS and Education. This could for example include cuts to Local Government budgets which when filtered down would mean further cuts to social care that disabled people often rely on.
– Specific cuts to benefits for young people, which could seriously impact on young disabled people – this includes replacing Job Seeker’s Allowance for 18-21 year olds with Youth Allowance for a limit of 6 months, after which young people will be forced into either an apprencticeship, a traineeship or into an unpaid workfare scheme. Young people in most cases will also lose their entitlement to Housing Benefit.
– Lowering the cap on welfare to £23000 a year. This would disproportionately affect large families with one or more disabled members.
– Whilst they pledge to freeze working-age benefits, there is an exemption for disability benefits as well as statutory sick pay.
– People who receive benefits and have conditions such as obesity, or drug or alcohol addiction, may receive a reduced amount of benefit if they refuse to engage in treatment. This essentially means some people will be clandestinely forced into involuntary treatment, a practice condemned by the medical community.
– Providing ‘significant new support’ for claimants of out-of-work benefits who have mental health problems.
– Increase spending in the NHS by £8bn by 2020 (the amount that NHS experts say is needed to sustain it).
– Ensure that everyone can see a GP 7 days a week by 2020 with a guarantee that everyone over 75 will receive a same-day appointment when needed.
– Integrating health and social care services so they can be more efficient for disabled people.
– Ensuring that GP appointments and repeat prescription requests can routinely be made online in all areas.
– Ensuring that women have access to mental health support during and after pregnancy.
– Scrap the Human Rights Act, and curtail the role of the European Court of Human Rights, both of which help to protect and champion the rights of disabled people.
– Reviewing hate crime law, to extend its scope to cover crimes motivated by prejudice against disabled people.
– Capping charges for residential social care from April 2016 and allowing deferred payment agreements.
For further information, you can read the entire manifesto here.