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General Election manifestos 2017

02 June 2017

This page contains summaries of and a link to the main 2017 general election party manifestos

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

General election manifestos - 2017

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

Conservative party manifesto

See also the Scottish Conservative party manifesto

Accessibility

  • review disabled people’s access and amend regulations if necessary to improve disabled access to licensed premises, parking and housing
  • create a new presumption of digital government services by default and an expectation that all government services are fully accessible online, with assisted digital support available for all public sector websites
  • roll out Verify identification service, enabling one single, common and safe way for people to provide verification to all parts of government online services by 2020 - using own secure data that is not held by government
  • Verify will eventually be made more widely available, so that people can safely verify their identify to access non-government services such as banking - expected for 2025

Benefits

  • no plans for further radical welfare reform in this parliament but continue the roll-out of Universal Credit
  • maintain the Triple Pensions Lock until 2020, and when it expires introduce a new Double Lock, meaning that pensions will rise in line with the earnings that pay for them, or in line with inflation – whichever is highest
  • means test Winter Fuel Payments - the money released will be transferred directly to health and social care
  • re pensioners - maintain free bus passes, eye tests, prescriptions and TV licences, for the duration of this parliament

Education and Skills

  • replacing 13,000 existing technical qualifications with new qualifications, known as T-levels, across fifteen routes in subjects including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, and health and science
  • invest in further education colleges to make sure they have world-class equipment and facilities and will create a new national programme to attract experienced industry professionals to work in FE colleges
  • discounted bus and train travel for apprentices
  • new right to request leave for training for all employees
  • new national retraining scheme - with costs of training met by the government, with companies able to gain access to the Apprenticeship Levy to support wage costs during the training period

Equality and human rights

  • enact a Great Repeal Bill, converting EU law into UK law
  • once EU law has been converted into domestic law, parliament will be able to pass legislation to amend, repeal or improve any piece of EU law it chooses, as will the devolved legislatures, where they have the power to do so
  • will not bring the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law
  • will look into repealing or replacing the Human Rights Act once the process of Brexit has finished
  • commitment to remain signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights for the duration of the next parliament - however British troops will in future be subject to the Law of Armed Conflict, which includes the Geneva Convention and UK Service Law, not the European Court of Human Rights

For more information on this see our factsheet F59 - brexit and human rights

Heating and services

  • work with providers of everyday essential services, like energy and telecoms, to reduce the extra costs that disability can incur

Housing

  • meet 2015 commitment to build a million homes by the end of 2020 and half a million more by the end of 2022
  • enter into new Council Housing Deals with local authorities to help them build more social housing – these will be new fixed-term social houses, which will be sold privately after ten to fifteen years with an automatic Right to Buy for tenants, the proceeds of which will be recycled into further homes

Social care and health

See our comparison of these proposals with the existing system

  • align the future basis for means-testing for domiciliary care with that for residential care, so that people are looked after in the place that is best for them
  • the value of the family home will be taken into account along with other assets and income, whether care is provided at home, or in a residential or nursing care home
  • single capital floor, set at £100,000 - no matter how large the cost of care turns out to be, people will always retain at least £100,000 of their savings and assets, including value in the family home - Theresa May has subsequently stated that there will be an “absolute limit” on the amount that people pay for social care
  • extend the current freedom to defer payments for residential care to those receiving care at home, so no-one will have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care
  • forthcoming green paper will also address system-wide issues to improve the quality of care and reduce variation in practice (see page 65 of the manifesto)
  • increase NHS spending by a minimum of £8 billion in real terms over the next five years
  • give patients, via digital means or over the phone, the ability to book appointments, contact the 111 service, order repeat prescriptions, and access and update aspects of their care records, as well as control how their personal data is used
  • first new Mental Health Bill for thirty-five years
  • publish a green paper on young people’s mental health before the end of this year
  • recruit up to 10,000 more mental health professionals
  • specific task to improve standards of care for those with learning disabilities and autism - will work to reduce stigma and discrimination and implement in full the Transforming Care Programme
  • new GP contract to help develop wider primary care services
  • reform the contract for hospital consultants to reflect the changed nature of hospital care over the past twenty years
  • make it a priority in Brexit negotiations that the 140,000 staff from EU countries can carry on working in the UK - but commitment to continue training more staff within UK
  • new NHS numbers are not issued to patients until their eligibility has been verified
  • increase the Immigration Health Surcharge, to £600 for migrant workers and £450 for international students

Work

  • target to get 1 million more people with disabilities into employment over the next ten years
  • legislate to give unemployed disabled claimants or those with a health condition personalised and tailored employment support
  • for businesses employing former wards of the care system, someone with a disability, those with chronic mental health problems, and those who have been unemployed for over a year, will be given a holiday on employers’ National Insurance Contributions for a full year
  • give employers the advice and support they need to hire and retain disabled people and those with health conditions
  • harness the opportunities of flexible working and the digital economy to generate jobs for those whose disabilities make traditional work difficult
  • increase the National Living Wage to 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020 and then by the rate of median earnings
  • the Government is awaiting the results of the Taylor review but a new Conservative government will act to ensure that the interests of employees on traditional contracts, the self-employed and those people working in the ‘gig’ economy are all properly protected
  • amend health and safety regulations so that employers provide appropriate first aid training and needs assessment for mental health
  • consider the findings of the Stevenson-Farmer Review into workplace mental health support, working with employers to encourage new products and incentives to improve the mental health and wellbeing support available to their employees
  • train one million members of the public in basic mental health awareness and first aid to break the stigma of mental illness

Green party manifesto

The Green Party has also published a separate disability manifesto, which is also available in alternative formats

Green Party Disability Manifesto

Contents of the Green party disability manifesto

The disability manifesto is only five pages long so it's easy to read. The main points include proposals to:

  • campaign to reinstate the Access to Elected Office fund
  • scrap the work capability assessment and replace this with support from GPs and health professionals
  • provide better social care and health services - including increased community and advocacy support
  • make improvements in education for disabled young people
  • provide better housing for disabled people via disability housing plans, a housing adaptations fund and an increase in homes built to mobility standards
  • provide better support for carers
  • recognise specialist comunication needs by supporting BSL, easy read and Braille

Contents of the Green party main manifesto

Benefits

  • redress benefits injustice with asocial security system that gives everyone confidence they will get support when they need it, including disabled people
  • universal basic income - initially a government sponsored pilot
  • reinstate housing benefit for under 21s

Education and Skills

  • ensure that every child with special educational needs or disability has access to a mainstream education, in accordance with the UN Convention for Persons with Disabilities
  • restore education maintenance allowances
  • scrap tuition fees and restore living grants

Equality and human rights

  • defend the Human Rights Act and UK membership of the European Convention on Human Rights, and reinstate funding for the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Hate crime

  • action to tackle racism and discrimination on the basis of disability

Housing

  • significantly improve housing choice for D/deaf, disabled and older people by requiring all councils to appropriately plan for their housing needs and significantly increase the numbers of homes built to lifetime home and mobility standards over the next 5 years
  • give renters a fair deal - rent controls and end to letting fees
  • make social housing widely available - build 100,000 each year by 2022
  • end mass council house sales
  • bring the housing market under control

Social care and health

  • major investment in social care for the elderly and all 'those who need it'
  • roll back privatisation of NHS
  • bring mental health care into line with physical health care

Transport

  • all public transport should be fully accessible and step-free with a phase-in of free local public transport for young people, students, people with disabilities, and older people

Work

  • phase in 4-day week (35 hours maximum)
  • abolish zero hours contracts
  • increase minimum wage to £10 an hour by 2020

 Labour party manifesto

The Labour party has also produced a separate document, entitled Funding Britain

See also Scottish Labour party manifesto

The Labour Party has also published a separate disability manifesto

Nothing About You, Without You

Contents of the Labour party disability manfesto

The disability manifesto is 28 pages and has chapters on:

  • Ensuring an adequate standard of living and social protection
  • Work and employment   
  • Education and training   
  • Accessible environments  
  • Health and social care    
  • Access to justice  
  • Participating fully in political, public and cultural life  

Contents of the Labour party main manifesto

Labour supports a social model of disability and pledges to remove the barriers in society that restrict opportunities and choices for people with disabilities. The previous Labour government signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The next Labour government will sign the UNCRPD into UK law.

Benefits

  • scrap the punitive sanctions regime
  • scrap the Bedroom Tax
  • increase Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by £30 per week for those in the work-related activity group
  • scrap the Work Capability and Personal Independence Payment assessments and replace them with a personalised, holistic assessment process that provides each individual with a tailored plan, building on their strengths and addressing barriers
  • implement the court decision on Personal Independence Payment (PIP) so that there is real parity of esteem between those with physical and mental-health conditions
  • end the privatisation of assessments (Atos, Maximus, Capita)
  • end the pointless stress of reassessments for people with severe long-term conditions
  • repeal cuts in the UC limited capacity for work element
  • increase Carer’s Allowance by £11 to the level of Jobseekers’ Allowance.
  • scrap cuts to Bereavement Support Payment.
  • reform and redesign UC, ending six-week delays in payment and the ‘rape clause’
  • guarantee the state pension ‘triple lock’ - throughout the next Parliament. It will rise by at least 2.5 per cent a year or be increased to keep pace with inflation or earnings, whichever is higher
  • Winter Fuel Allowance and free bus passes will be guaranteed as universal benefits
  • protect the pensions of UK citizens living overseas in the EU or further afield

Education and Skills

  • scrap Conservative plans for schools to pay the apprenticeship levy
  • extend schools-based counselling to all schools to improve children’s mental health
  • deliver a strategy for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) based on inclusivity, and embed SEND more substantially into training for teachers and non-teaching staff, so that staff, children and their parents are properly supported
  • restore the Education Maintenance Allowance for 16 to 18-year-olds from lower and middle income backgrounds
  • free, lifelong education in Further Education (FE) colleges, enabling everyone to upskill or retrain at any point in life
  • replace Advanced Learner Loans and upfront course fees with direct funding, making FE courses free at the point of use, including English
    for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses
  • set targets to increase apprenticeships for people with disabilities, care leavers and veterans, and ensure broad representation of women, BAME, LGBT and people with disabilities in all kinds of apprenticeships
  • maintain the apprenticeship levy but ensure high quality by requiring the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education to report on an annual basis to the Secretary of State on quality outcomes of completed apprenticeships to ensure they deliver skilled workers for employers and real jobs for apprentices at the end of their training.
  • set a target to double the number of completed apprenticeships at NVQ level 3 by 2022
  • reintroduce maintenance grants for university students
  • abolish university tuition fees - Labour has now said that students starting university this September will have their first year fees written off if Labour win the election

Equality and human rights

  • Labour will legislate to make terminal illness a protected characteristic under the Equality Act
  • give British Sign Language full recognition as a recognised language

Hate crime

  • ensure that under the Istanbul Convention, disability hate crime and violence against women with disabilities is reported annually, with national actions plans to address these issues

Heating

  • introduce a Homes Fit for Heroes programme that will insulate the homes of disabled veterans for free
  • Winter Fuel Allowance guaranteed as a universal benefit

Housing

  • make new three-year tenancies the norm for private renters, with an inflation cap on rent rises
  • remove government restrictions that stop councils building homes and begin the biggest council building programme for at least 30 years
  • ditch Conservatives’ ban on long-term council tenancies to give council tenants security in their homes
  • scrap the Bedroom Tax
  • reinstate Housing Benefit for under-21s
  • suspend the right-to-buy policy for council and social housing to protect affordable homes for local people, with councils only able to resume sales if they can prove they have a plan to replace homes sold like-for-like

Poverty

  • Labour will introduce a new Child Poverty Strategy

Social care and health

  • increase the social care budgets by a further £8 billion over the lifetime of the next Parliament, including an additional £1 billion for the first year.
  • implement the principles of the Ethical Care Charter, already adopted in 28 council areas, ending 15-minute care visits and providing care workers with paid travel time, access to training and an option to choose regular hours
  • create a National Care Service, which will be built alongside the NHS, with a shared requirement for single commissioning, partnership arrangements, pooled budgets and joint working arrangements - in its first years, the service will require an additional £3 billion of public funds every year, enough to place a maximum limit on lifetime personal contributions to care costs, raise the asset threshold below which people are entitled to state support, and provide free end of life care.
  • ensure that everyone with a long-term condition, such as those with diabetes, will have the right to a specialised care plan, and access to condition-management education
  • commitment to making Britain autism friendly

Work

  • commission a report into expanding the Access to Work programme
  • strengthen access to justice for people with disabilities by enhancing the 2010 Equality Act, enabling discrimination at work to be challenged
  • work with employers, trade unions and public services to improve awareness of neurodiversity in the workplace and in society
  • give all workers equal rights from day one, whether part-time or full-time, temporary or permanent
  • ban zero hours contracts
  • raise the Minimum Wage to the level of the Living Wage
  • ban unpaid internships
  • abolish employment tribunal fees

Lib Dem manifesto

Benefits

  • uprate working-age benefits at least in line with inflation
  • abandon the two-child policy on family benefits and abolish the two children ‘rape clause’
  • reverse cuts to housing benefit for 18-21-year-olds and increase the rates of Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit for those aged 18-24 at the same rate as minimum wages.
  • reverse cuts to Employment Support Allowance to those in the work-related activity group.
  • increase Local Housing Allowance (LHA) in line with average rents in an area
  • scrap the ‘bedroom tax’, whilst also incentivising local authorities to help tenants ‘downsize’.
  • scrap the Work Capability Assessment and replace it with a new system, run by local authorities according to national rules, including a ‘real world’ test that is based on the local labour market
  • withdraw eligibility for the Winter Fuel Payment from pensioners who pay tax at the higher rate (40%)
  • retain the free bus pass for all pensioners
  • ensure that those using food banks are aware of their rights and how they can access hardship payments where relevant
  • maintain pensions triple lock
  • let both parents earn before their Universal Credit is cut and also reverse cuts to the Family Element
  • reverse cuts to Work Allowances in Universal Credit

Education and skills

  • ensure that all teaching staff have the training to identify mental health issues and that schools provide immediate access for pupil support and counselling
  • reinstate maintenance grants for the poorest students

Equality and human rights

  • extend the Equality Act to all large companies with more than 250 employees
  • oppose any attempt to withdraw from the ECHR or abolish or water down the Human Rights Act
  • introduce a digital bill of rights that protects people’s powers over their own information, supports individuals over large corporations, and preserves the neutrality of the internet
  • end the ministerial veto on release of information under the Freedom of Information Act, and take steps to reduce the proportion of FOI requests where information is withheld by government departments

Hate crime

  • tackle bullying in schools

Housing

  • three-year tenancies for private renters

Social care and health

  • implement a cap on the cost of social care
  • develop a Carer’s Passport scheme to inform carers of their NHS rights
  • create a cross-party health and social care convention, bringing together stakeholders from all political parties, patients groups, the public and professionals from within the health and social care system to carry out a
    comprehensive review of the longer-term sustainability of the health and social care finances and workforce, and the practicalities of greater integration
  • equal care for mental health - a number of measures - see pages 19 and 20 of the manifesto
  • move towards a health and social care system that empowers and encourages people to better manage their own health and conditions and to live healthier - via various strategies (see pages 22 and 23 of the manifesto)
    lives
  • support the Armed Forces Covenant and ongoing work to support veterans’ mental health

Transport

  • continue the Access for All programme, improving disabled access to public transport as a key priority
  • increase accessibility to public places and transport by making more stations wheelchair accessible
  • improve the legislative framework governing blue badges
  • set up a benchmarking standard for accessible cities
  • bring into effect the provisions of the 2010 Equality Act on discrimination by private hire vehicles and taxis

Work

  • raise awareness of, and seek to expand, Access to Work
  • create a formal right to request a fixed contract and consult on introducing a right to make regular patterns of work contractual after a period of time
  • scrap employment tribunal fees
  • separate employment support from benefits administration – making Jobcentres places of training and support into work
  • improve links between Jobcentres and Work Programme providers and the local NHS to ensure all those in receipt of health-related benefits are getting
    the care and support to which they are entitled
  • accelerate the roll-out of Individual Placement and Support, to get people with mental ill-health back into work

Plaid Cymru

Benefits

  • want powers over social security devolved to Wales - for example to ban private firms from carrying out benefits assessments for profit
  • scrap the bedroom tax
  • fight the 'rape clause’ and the changes to  bereavement support payments
  • support and encourage disabled people into employment without facing threats of sanctions
  • fight to guarantee the pensions Triple Lock and continue to oppose increases in the state pension retirement age

Education and Skills

  • principle that education should be free for all
  • guarantee employment, education or training for any person under-25 looking for work

Equality and human rights

  • publish a human rights charter for Wales

Heating

  • introduce a fuel duty regulator to stop rising fuel costs
  • roll out a nationwide scheme to make housing stock more energy efficient

Social care and health

  • introduce a new Medicines and Treatments Fund, to make sure everyone has access to the medicines they need, no matter where they live in Wales
  • introduce a social care rescue plan which will help people to live independently and increase the role of community hospitals
  • ensure that health and social care services are seamlessly provided.
  • introduce a Plaid Cymru carers’ contract, which will support those who care for others
  • call for increased funding and improved access to trained mental health counsellors and therapists in the community
  • make sure veterans receive excellent health care, including mental health care, and adequate housing

Work

  • introduce a real, independently verified, Living Wage

SNP manifesto

Benefits

  • no means testing for disability benefits
  • reintroduce long term awards for disability benefits for those with long term conditions - have established a Disability Benefits Assessment Commission to provide recommendations and guidance on eligibility and conditions
  • call for a halt to the Work Capability Assessment - replacing it with a new system, which treats everyone with fairness and respect
  • abolish the bedroom tax
  • increase Carer's Allowance to level of Jobseeker's Allowance
  • press for the abolition of the two-child cap on tax credits and the associated Rape Clause
  • vote to ensure that benefits increase at least in line with CPI inflation - call for an end to the current benefits rate freeze
  • protect the Winter Fuel Payment, and extend the eligibility to families with severely disabled children
  • argue for a complete halt to the roll out of Universal Credit until it is designed to treat everyone with fairness and respect, and continue to call for UC to be fully devolved to Scotland
  • reinstate housing benefit for under 21s
  • oppose Bereavement Benefit changes
  • oppose plans to increase the State Pension Age beyond 66
  • maintain Triple Lock on pensions
  • new Best Start Grant, worth £1,900 to a two-child family - £1,400 more than the UK Sure Start Maternity Grant
  • press for veterans to have War Disablement Pension fully disregarded when claiming social security benefits

Equality and human rights

  • oppose any attempts by the UK government to scrap the Human Rights Act and withdraw the UK from the ECHR - for more information on this see our factsheet F59 - brexit and human rights

Heating

  • lobby to put in place an energy price cap on standard variable tariffs, ensuring a fair deal for customers and energy suppliers
  • lobby for a new duty to be placed on energy companies to set out a clear timetable to reduce the number of people on prepayment meters
  • seek to put in place a requirement for energy companies to prioritise the roll-out of smart meters to those households at risk of fuel poverty
  • seek to introduce financial health checks to help people switch to the lowest tariffs and provide advice on reducing energy use; and take new action, alongside Ofgem, to identify
    those at risk from fuel poverty, with new legislation to ensure these groups are on the lowest energy tariff possible starting with those eligible for the Cold Weather Payment

Work

  • action to address the disability pay gap - equal pay audits to cover disability, lowering the threshold to 150 employees, from the current level of 250
  • press for full devolution of employment and employability policy – including the Minimum Wage – to enable the Scottish Government to protect and enhance vital workers’ rights

UKIP manifesto

Benefits

  • reform the work capability assessment in consultation with disabled people and disability charities
  • scrap the bedroom tax
  • promises to 'end the injustice of personal independence payments' but gives no detail about how
  • give carers an extra five days paid holiday each year
  • increase Carer’s Allowance from £62.70 per week to £73.10 a week, to match the higher level of Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • maintain all pensioner benefits and the pensions Triple Lock
  • committed to keeping the winter fuel allowance, free bus passes, prescriptions and eye tests for all over-60s, without means testing
  • introduce a legally binding Dignity Code to improve the quality and standard of care for older people in hospital, care homes or their own home, and protect whistleblowers

Education and Skills

  • all disabled learners should have the legal right to attend either mainstream courses in mainstream education settings, or schools exclusively tailored to their needs
  • reverse the policy of closing special schools, and ensure all other schools are accessible to disabled learners and that individual support is in place for each child
  • scrap tuition fees for science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine students
  • stop paying tuition fees for courses which do not lead at least two thirds of students into a graduate level job or job corresponding to their degree
  • cease offering student loans to EU nationals
  • long term aim to abolish tuition fees
  • maintenance grants for poorest students
  • integrate mental health training into the teacher training syllabus
  • introduce practical 'employability' lessons into the careers syllabus

Equality and human rights

  • 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.

Social care and health

  • invest extra £11 billion in the NHS
  • establish a Department for Health and Care, and create a sustainably funded social care system assimilated into the NHS
  • scrap hospital car parking charges
  • abolish the Care Quality Commission
  • increase planned spending on mental health services by at least £500 million every year
  • cutting mental health referral waiting times from waiting time targets from eighteen weeks to 28 days
  • ensure smooth transition between child and adult physical/mental health services
  • increased mental health support for veterans