Labour leader Ed Miliband has launched his party’s manifesto for disabled people.
Some of the key policies include:
- We’ll expand opportunities for young disabled people. We’ll work with teacher-training providers to ensure teachers receive better training in working with disabled children or those with special educational needs. We’ll make sure our reforms to vocational education work for young disabled people, and that they have the same chances as non-disabled young people to go to university.
- We’ll integrate our health and social care systems to provide better support for independent living. Labour will invest in our NHS, with a fully funded plan for 8,000 more doctors, 20,000 more nurses, and 5,000 more home care workers. We’ll integrate our health and social care systems, and offer disabled people an entitlement to a personal care plan, the option of personal budgets where appropriate, and a single named person to integrate care. And we’ll make sure that local authorities have clear guidance about how to protect users of the Independent Living Fund.
- We’ll ensure the social security system treats disabled people with dignity and respect: we’ll overhaul the failing Work Capability Assessment, ensuring that disabled people have a say in how its run, imposing stricter penalties where those making decisions get them wrong, and guaranteeing that the tests will always be accessible. We’ll get a grip on delays in vital benefit payments, and we’ll abolish unfair targets for sanctions in Jobcentre Plus.
- We’ll give disabled people who want to work more support: the government’s failing Work Programme is letting down disabled people who want jobs, with just one in ten finding work. So we’ll replace it with a new specialist programme, commissioned jointly with local authorities. We’ll make sure that the vital support from Access to Work is widely publicised, working with disabled people to ensure that everyone who needs it can get the support they need to take up, stay in or progress in a job.
- We’ll help disabled people with the cost of living: thousands of disabled people have been hit by the cruel and unfair Bedroom Tax. Labour will abolish it. Disabled people often face extra costs to heat their home, so we’ll give them more support, freezing energy bills until 2017, and ensuring that bills can fall but cannot rise. We’ll help get bills down in the long term too, reforming the energy market and offering at least 200,000 free energy efficiency improvements a year to households in or at risk of fuel poverty.
- We’ll promote the participation of disabled people in public life. The worrying rise in disability hate crime in recent years is adding to a climate which makes it harder for disabled people to make their voices heard. Labour will introduce a new offence of disability hate crime, ensuring that abuse of disabled people is never tolerated. We want the voices of disabled people to be heard at the heart of government, so we’ll ensure that they are represented on the cross-government committee that develops disability policy.