General Election 2015: what do the manifestos mean for disabled people?
21 April 2015
by Guy Parckar
As we get closer to the General Election on 7 May, most political parties have now published their manifestos. These set out the key policies each party would implement if they were in government.
So what do the different manifestos say about disability? Below are summaries of what the largest UK-wide political party manifestos include about disability and social care. (Presented in alphabetical order of party name.)
- Conservative Party
- Green Party
- Labour Party
- Liberal Democrats
- Plaid Cymru
- Scottish National Party (SNP)
- Includes commitments to bring together health and social care.
- Increase support for full-time unpaid carers.
- Commits to halving the ‘disability employment gap’ (the difference between the percentage of disabled people in work compared to the percentage of non-disabled people in work).
- Pledges to give powers over social care to large cities with elected mayors.
- Proposes extending the law to cover disability hate crime.
- Proposes providing free social care for disabled people of working age and people at the end of life.
- Proposes increased funding for local authorities to pay for care and other public services, and increasing the budget for Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
- Raise the profile of the Access to Work scheme.
- Increase support for carers.
- Commitment to end the use of 15-minute care visits, and increase the numbers of home-care workers.
- Proposes repealing the Health and Social Care Act and bringing together health and social care in a new National Care Service.
- Commits to reforming the Work Capability Assessment (WCA — the test for whether people are eligible to receive Employment and Support Allowance).
- Introduce a specialist programme to support disabled people to find work.
- Proposes strengthening the law on disability hate crime.
- Commits to a full review of health and social care, and to merge health and care at a national level.
- Proposes additional support for carers, and that the planning system should reflect the need for ‘age-appropriate housing’.
- Proposes raising awareness of the Access to Work scheme, and providing work experience opportunities for disabled people.
- Includes commitments to continue to fund improvements to rail station accessibility, to set out guidelines for what would make an ‘accessible city’ and to improve monitoring of disability hate crime.
- Proposes bringing health and social care together under the NHS, and increasing funding for social care, as well as ending the use of 15-minute care visits.
- Commitment to maintain specific benefits for older people including free bus passes, winter fuel allowances, free TV licenses for the over 75s and free prescriptions and eye tests for the over-60s.
- Pledges to promote adapted housing for residents to choose to stay in their own homes or specially-built accommodation rather than move into care.
- Commitment to ensure that Disabled Facilities Grants and adaptations are implemented efficiently.
- Pledges not to implement Universal Credit until an independent review is carried out.
- Prepare for the further devolution of welfare by developing a Welsh employment and benefits system.
Scottish National Party (SNP)
- Commitment to increasing NHS spending across the UK.
- Block cuts to Disability Living Allowance and support an increase in Carer’s Allowance so that it matches Jobseekers’ Allowance.
- Pledges to abolish the Spare Room Subsidy (also dubbed the ‘bedroom tax’).
Guy Parckar is Head of Policy at Leonard Cheshire Disability.