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Election manifestos 2015

07 May 2015

This page contains a link to the 2015 election party manifestos as they are published

This is a selected list of proposals, which affect disabled people, taken from the relevant manifesto. Follow the links to read the actual manifesto.

Conservative party
Green party
Labour party
Lib Dem
Plaid Cymru
SNP
UKIP

Conservative party manifesto

Benefits

  • Freeze working age benefits for two years from April 2016, with exemptions for disability and pensioner benefits.
  • Lower the benefits cap from £26,000 to £23,000, but continue to have exemptions from the cap for those receiving Disability Living Allowance or the Personal Independence Payment.

Care

  • Guarantee that you will not have to sell your home to fund your residential social care.
  • Increase support for fulltime unpaid carers.

Hate crime

  • Review hate crime legislation, including the case for extending the scope of the law to cover crimes committed against people on the basis of disability.

Human rights

  • Scrap the Human Rights Act, and introduce a British Bill of Rights. The Bill will remain faithful to the basic principles of human rights, which the UK signed up to in the original European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Break the formal link between British courts and the European Court of Human Rights, and make the own Supreme Court the ultimate arbiter of human rights matters in the UK.

Into work

  • Aim to halve the disability employment gap by transforming policy, practice and public attitudes, so that hundreds of thousands more disabled people who can and want to be in work find employment.

Green party manifesto

The Green Party is committed to the social model of disability. People who are disabled have a right to participate fully in society.

Benefits

  • Abolish the bedroom tax.
  • End external contractors for the Work Capability Assessment, instead relying on the judgement of GPs or other health professionals.
  • Increase the budget for Disability Living Allowance / Personal Independence Payments by around £1 billion a year.

Care

  • Free social care for the elderly.
  • Provide a further £0.5 billion for free social care for adults aged 18–65 who have a proven care need.
  • Retain the Independent Living Fund.
  • Integrate health and care services so as to look after carers as well as those they care for.
  • Increase the Carer’s Allowance by 50%, costing £1.2 billion a year (6.5 million carers save the state £119 billion), and provide carers with a legal right to 5–10 days paid annual leave.
  • Provide older carers with more generous and consistent support through a Citizen’s Pension.

Education

  • Recognise the rights of children who are disabled, and their families, in education, in the transition to adult life, in childcare, in healthcare and in the benefits system.

Equality and diversity

  • Reinstate the funding for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
  • Make equality and diversity lessons mandatory in all schools, from the first year of primary education onwards, to combat all forms of prejudice and bullying, to promote understanding and acceptance of difference and to ensure community cohesion.
  • Require all police forces to have equality and diversity liaison officers whose remit is to tackle and take preventive action on crimes originating in discrimination against any group, and to treat crimes arising from such discrimination on a par with racist crimes.
  • Ensure that effective action is taken to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities.
  • Provide comprehensive training for teachers and educational staff on all diversity and inclusion issues.

Housing

  • Recognise fully the housing needs of people who are disabled, including support with planning and obtaining housing.

Human rights

  • Supports the principles of, and intends to enforce the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Into work

  • Raise the profile of the Access to Work scheme among smaller firms and under-served disabled people, with far greater transparency over how the scheme is administered.

Transport

  • Make it a licensing condition for taxis that drivers have Disability Awareness Training.

 Labour party manifesto

The Labour party has also produced a separate mini-manifesto for disabled people.

Benefits

  • Abolish the bedroom tax.
  • Reform the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and focus it on the support disabled people need to get into work.
  • Give an independent scrutiny group of disabled people a central role in monitoring the WCA.

Care

  • Give disabled people an entitlement to a personal care plan designed with them and shaped around their needs, the option of personal budgets where appropriate, and a single named person to coordinate their care.
  • Provide better information and advice on managing a disabled person’s condition.

Human rights

  • Recognises the Human Rights Act as a powerful means of redress for disabled people and is committed to keeping it.  
  • Aim to reform, rather than ‘walk away’ from, the European Court of Human Rights.

Into work

  • Introduce a specialist support programme to ensure that disabled people who can work get more tailored help.

Scotland

  • Billions of pounds of social security spending will be devolved to Scotland, including benefits that support disabled people.
  • The Work Programme will also be devolved along with a greater ability to invest in capital projects.

Lib Dem manifesto

Accessibility

  • Making more stations wheelchair accessible and giving wheelchair users priority over children’s buggies when space is limited.
  • Bringing into effect the provisions of the 2010 Equality Act on discrimination by private hire vehicles and taxis.
  • Improving the legislative framework governing Blue Badges.
  • Improving wheelchair access to improve accessibility of public transport for people with other disabilities, including visual and auditory impairment.
  • Setting up a benchmarking standard for accessible cities.

Benefits

  • Reform the bedroom tax so that existing social tenants will not be subject to any housing benefit reduction until they have been offered reasonable alternative accommodation. Tenants who need an extra bedroom for genuine medical reasons are entitled to one in any assessment of their Housing Benefit needs, and those whose homes are substantially adapted do not have their Housing Benefit reduced.
  • Review of the Work Capability Assessment and Personal Independence Payment assessments
  • Invest to clear any backlog in assessments for Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment.
  • Improve the benefits system for disabled people, based on the principle of one assessment, one budget. This will bring together support like Personal Independence Payment, Employment Support Allowance, a replacement for the Independent Living Fund and health and social care entitlements.
  • Review the rules for exemption from prescription charges to ensure they are fair to those with long-term conditions and disabilities.

Care

  • Finish the job of implementing the Dilnot Report proposals for a cap on the cost of social care.
  • Provide more choice at the end of life, and free end-of-life social care for those placed on their local end-of-life register if evidence shows it is affordable and cost effective.
  • Ask the Care Quality Commission to showcase examples of good and bad practice in care commissioning by Councils.
  • Raise the professional status and training of care home managers through statutory licensing.
  • Ensure those who work in the care sector are properly trained and suitable to practice by introducing a statutory code of conduct backed up by a care workers’ suitability register.
  • Implement the proposals set out in the 2015 Green Paper on Learning Disabilities.

Education

  • Improve the identification of Special Educational Needs and disability at the earliest possible stage, so targeted support can be provided and primary schools are better prepared for their intake of pupils.
  • Maintain Disabled Students’ Allowance to ensure students with disabilities receive appropriate support in their university studies, and review the impact of any changes to consider additional protections for the most vulnerable students with disabilities.

Equality and diversity

  • Enact the remaining unimplemented clauses of the Equality Act 2010.
  • Formally recognise British Sign Language as an official language of the United Kingdom.

Hate crime

  • Tackle disability hate crime by ensuring proper monitoring of incidents by police forces and other public authorities.
  • Change sentencing guidelines to increase sentences available for hate crimes.

Human rights

  • Protect the Human Rights Act and enshrine the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in UK law.
  • Take appropriate action to comply with decisions of UK courts and the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Pass a new Freedoms Act, to protect citizens from excessive state powers.

Work

  • Simplify and streamline back-to-work support for people with disabilities, mental or physical health problems, aiming for one assessment and one budget for disabled and sick people to give them more choice and control.
  • Raise awareness of, and seek to expand, Access to Work, which supports people with disabilities in work.
  • Help greater numbers of disabled people work by encouraging employers to shortlist any qualified disabled candidate and providing advice about workplace adaptation.

Plaid Cymru

Benefits

  • Plaid Cymru will prepare for the further devolution of welfare by developing a Welsh employment and benefits system that supports individuals to find suitable jobs. This will involve disabled people and groups that represent the interests of disabled people in designing and developing such a system.
  • Will work to remove the need for food banks.
  • Independent review on the use of benefit sanctions to ensure a humane and effective social security system.

Care

  • Improve on the methods and frequencies of inspections of the care provided in hospitals, care homes and nursing homes.

Education

  • Work with local authorities to ensure that all schools have appropriate access for physically disabled pupils.

Fuel poverty

  • Winter Fuel Allowance to be paid to off-grid households during the summer so that they can get better value for money.
  • Cold weather payments based on accurate local temperatures.

Human rights

  • Supports the European Convention on Human Rights, and will oppose any moves by a UK Government to withdraw from those.

Work

  • Give the job-search functions of Job Centre Plus to the Welsh Government.
  • Help those with a disability find a suitable job by focusing on what individuals can achieve on a day to day basis without the threat of sanctions.

SNP manifesto

Benefits

  • Scrap the bedroom tax.
  • Oppose plans to cut Disability Living Allowance by £3 billion across the UK by 2017-18.
  • Halt to the roll out of PIP.
  • Seek to reverse the replacement of Disability Living Allowance by PIP.
  • Seek an urgent reform of the conditionality and sanctions regime, to establish a fairer approach.
  • Back an increase of at least the cost of living of disability benefits.
  • Overhaul the Work Capability Assessment.

Care

  • Support an increase in Carers' Allowance so that it matches Jobseekers' Allowance.

Equality and diversity

  • Seek to maintain the protections provided by the Equality Act 2010 and ask the government to engage with key stakeholders on potential improvements.

Human Rights

  • Oppose scrapping the Human Rights Act.
  • Oppose withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights.

UKIP manifesto

Benefits

  • Recognises that there will always be disabled people who are unable to work and we are committed to supporting them through a fair and fit-for-purpose welfare system.
  • Scrap the bedroom tax
  • End Work Capability Assessments and return assessments to GPs or appropriate specialist consultants.
  • Require GPs/specialists to notify the Department for Work and Pensions when they believe a patient is well enough to return to work, by issuing a ‘fit note’
  • Remove ‘tick-box’ and quota arrangements from sickness and disability assessments, thereby streamlining and speeding up the assessment processes and continually respecting claimants throughout the process.
  • Contribute to the important work done by food banks and develop them into community advice centres for those most in need.
  • Keep free bus passes, winter fuel allowances, free TV licenses for the over 75s and free prescriptions and eye tests for the over-60s, without means testing.

Care

  • Endorses the right of disabled people to access in home, residential and community support services and support their inclusion in our communities.
  • Bring health and social care together, under the control of the NHS.
  • Establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund from any tax revenue received from shale oil and gas exploration, to fully implement the Dilnot Commission recommendations.
  • Introduce a legally-binding ‘Dignity Code’ to improve standards of professional care
  • Pledge to protect services such as day care, home care and Meals on Wheels
  • Abolish the practice of arranging home care visits in fifteen-minute windows
  • Abolish the annual assessment process for continuing healthcare funding in respect of those suffering from degenerative, terminal illnesses.
  • Fund a co-ordinating service for older people in every county, combining resources from across the NHS, social services, community agents and the voluntary sector.
  • Improve carers’ access to support by sharing information on benefit and social care entitlements and support groups across all public services.
  • Increase Carers’ Allowance from £62.10 per week to match the higher level of Job Seekers Allowance, currently £73.10 per week, an extra £572 per year.

Education

  • Reversing the policy of closing special schools, with special needs children having more opportunity to access tailored, non-mainstream education.

Human rights

  • Commitment to protecting the rights of disabled people, as set out in Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • New Bill of rights removing jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights with the Supreme Court acting as the final authority on matters of Human Rights.
  • Repeal the Human Rights Act.