On 30th May there was a disability hustings where candidates representing three of the main political parties answered questions from an audience of disabled people from across the UK.

The candidates who spoke were:

  • Penny Mordaunt – Conservative MP, Minister of State for Disabled People, Work and Health
  • Kate Green – Labour MP, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities
  • Baroness Brinton – President of the Liberal Democrats

The focus was on three main areas: welfare benefits, social care and employment.

Kate Green, Labour
Kate Green stated Labour’s vision was to give disabled people “dignity” and “autonomy” to choose the life they want. They want to build a “rights based approach” for welfare benefits, social care and employment to make disability rights a reality.

This would include investment in public services, reversal of the benefit cuts, and development of the legal infrastructure. They will support the Equality and Human Rights Commission to ensure disability equality remains at the forefront of Government’s attention.

Baroness Sal Brinton, Liberal Democrats
Baroness Brinton spoke about the need for the “right to work and the right for support” to be unlinked, to bring an end to the “stifling of incentive, opportunity and responsibility” caused by our current welfare system. 

The Liberal Democrats will seek to change attitudes and build a vision of a society in which individuals have the right to “achieve the best they can.”

Penny Mordaunt, Conservative
Penny Maudaunt described the need to address barriers of attitude, environment and failings of The State. She said that “unless we address all the challenges, we will fail to enable disabled people to fulfil their potential.”

She too identified the need for accessible homes and better accessibility in public places. She also highlighted that she believes that we should do more internationally and shift more of the aid budget to supporting disabled people around the world. She added, “We have the answers to so many problems in the UK that could also help other nations.”

Summary
In our initial pre-election blog we expressed the view that the party that would do the most for disabled people would be the one describing a vision of a society with them at its heart, not at the margins. To help you decide which Party comes closest, we have produced a theme by theme breakdown of what we feel are the most relevant manifesto commitments to disabled people and their families. I don’t think its overstating it to say we are being offered a choice of very contrasting futures for disabled people.

Click here to read the parties' plans on rights and equality

Click here to read the parties' plans on housing

Click here to read the parties' plans on health

Click here to read the parties' plans on employment

Click here to read the parties' plans on welfare benefits and employment support

Click here to read the parties' plans on social care

Click here to read the parties' plans on transport

Click here to read the parties' plans on access to justice

Every vote will make a difference, so to bring about the future you want, you’ll really need to play your part and vote!