So what do the Labour Party offer for disabled people in their manifesto? Well, the first thing to mention is that specifically have a mini-manifesto aimed at disabled people, and they are the only party to do that. It can be found here.
It includes such promises as:
– Ensuring all NHS staff have some degree of mental health training.
– The integration of health and social care to provide more efficient, joint-up care for disabled people with significant care needs.
– Overhauling the Work Capability Assessment and ensuring that disabled people are involved in renewing its effectiveness.
– The abolition of the Bedroom Tax which as we know disproportionately affects disabled people.
– Inviting disabled people to sit on the cross-government committee that develops disabled policy.
– Freezing energy bills so that they can drop but not rise until 2017 – I’m including this because for many disabled people, being cold aggravates their conditions so energy bills can often be higher for disabled people.
– Requiring all operators bidding for rail franchises to outline how they will ensure access for disabled people.
– Introducing a new offence of disability hate crime.
– The abolition of zero-hours contracts, which could pose problems for disabled people who employ personal care assistants through their personal budgets from the council.
– Guarantee GP appointments within 48 hours, and cancer tests within one week.
– End time-limited 15 minute social care visits and recruit 5000 more home care workers.
– Labour pledge to ‘cut the deficit every year’ to ‘balance the books’. This means cuts to departmental spending outside of ringfenced areas. This will mean it is likely there will be cuts to the local government budget which will be passed on partly as cuts to social care, and there will also be cuts to the welfare budget – for example, child benefit rises will be capped for two years, and Winter Fuel allowances will be cut from the wealthiest pensioners, and overall social security spending will be capped, which could mean further freezes or cuts to other welfare benefits.
The full manifesto can be found here.