Labour has launched a manifesto for disabled people, Breaking Down Barriers, setting out how the next Labour government will enforce the right of disabled people to live independent lives.
The number of families where someone is disabled living in poverty has risen by over a million since 2010, and nearly half of all working age adults living in poverty live in a family that includes a disabled adult or child.
To tackle disabled poverty, Labour plans to:
- Ensure a disabled child on Universal Credit (UC) receives the same amount as a disabled child on Child Tax Credits.
- Introduce a self-care element into UC to support severely disabled people without a formal carer – the equivalent of the Severe Disability Premium.
- Increase Employment and Support Allowance by £30 per week for those in the work-related activity group.
- Increase the Carer’s Allowance to the level of Jobseeker’s Allowance.
- Immediately suspend all sanctions and scrap the Work Capability Assessment and Personal Independence Payment assessment.
All of these reforms are estimated to cost around £2.6 billion in 2023-24 and are accounted for in Labour’s Grey Book.
In addition, Breaking Down Barriers further commits to:
- Halve the disability employment gap, give people the right to disability leave, produce statutory guidance on timescales for the implementation of reasonable adjustments and introduce a government-backed Reasonable Adjustments Passport.
- Developing a strategy throughout our education system based on inclusivity, invest in Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) and introduce measures to increase access for disabled people at every level of education.
- Ensure disabled people can get access to justice by incorporating disability hate crime into law, requiring disability hate crime and violence against disabled women to be reported annually, and putting in place comprehensive national action plans.
- Break down barriers to disabled people in transport by ending Driver Only Operation on the railways, expanding bus services and ensuring all new buses offer audio-visual announcements.
- Break down the barriers to disabled people in cultural and political live by giving British Sign Language full legal recognition and reinstating the Access to Elected Office fund to enable disabled people to run for elected office.
Marsha de Cordova, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Disabled People, said:
“I am proud that Labour is the only party with a manifesto developed by and for disabled people, according to our principle of ‘nothing about you without you’. Labour in government will embody that principle, empowering disabled people and enhancing our voices.
“Breaking Down Barriers takes us beyond what we’ve previously committed, and sets out how we’ll radically shift our approach to ensure the economic, social and structural barriers faced by disabled people are addressed. It’s time for real change.”
Breaking Down Barriers can be read here, alongside a full range of accessible versions: http://labour.org.uk/disability-manifesto/
Labour’s 2019 Manifesto can be found here: https://labour.org.uk/manifesto/