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  • Writer's pictureDisability Assist

Why is the 2024 UK General Election Important for Disabled People?

As the 2024 General Election approaches, it is essential for everyone to consider their voting options carefully.  For disabled people, this election is particularly significant.  The policies and priorities set by the incoming government will have a direct impact on the lives of millions of people with disabilities.  Voting is the way to influence these outcomes and ensure that the voices of disabled people are heard.



 

There are a number of issues which are likely to have an impact on disabled people and we have listed a few of the main ones below:

 

Healthcare and Social Services

 

One of the most important concerns for disabled people is access to healthcare and social services. Funding cuts and policy changes can drastically affect the availability and quality of these services so you may want to vote for candidates who prioritise the healthcare system and who advocate for the rights and needs of disabled people.  Ensuring that there is adequate support for mental health services, accessible healthcare facilities, and personalised care plans are just a few examples of what to look for in a party’s manifesto.

 

Benefits and Employment Support

 

Economic stability is another critical area.  Benefits are an important factor for many disabled people when it comes to being able to live independently so we would suggest taking a look at party policies on various benefits which may affect you such as PIP, Carers Allowance and Universal Credit.  We recently shared information on some of the reforms to PIP that the Conservatives are proposing, in the form of the recent Green Paper, and you can see more about this on our dedicated blog post.

 

The other important factor is employment and if you are looking for a job or already working, you may want to check what a party is likely to do in terms of Access to Work and other employment support schemes.  Will they improve access to job opportunities and provide adequate financial support?  Consider what sort of approach a party will take towards disabled people, and you may want to look for those who have committed to closing the disability employment gap and ensuring fair treatment and opportunities in the workplace.

 

Accessibility and Inclusion

 

While party manifestos may not address inclusion on a national scale, you might want to look into the promises of individual candidates in your area to understand whether they have plans for accessibility and inclusion on a local level.  These could include ensuring that public transport is accessible, promoting the availability of assistive technologies, and enforcing laws that protect against discrimination. A party's stance on creating an inclusive society can greatly affect your everyday life and how accessible your local area may be.  An inclusive society benefits everyone, not just those with disabilities.

 

This is not an exhaustive list and there are many other factors which may affect life for people with a disability, so it is important to look into what a party’s policy is on those subjects which matter most to you. 

 

 

Resources

 

Making an informed decision requires access to reliable information. Here are some useful websites where you can find detailed analyses of party policies and candidate platforms:

 

  • Disability Rights UK – their News & Policy section includes articles on each of the main political party manifestos. 

  • Benefits & Work - like DRUK, they have articles on the main party manifestos, with a focus on their welfare benefits promises

  • Disability News Service - covers the main political news from the perspective of disabled people and also profiles disabled candidates who are standing for election. 

  • Electoral Commission – has practical information on how to register to vote, voting methods, ensuring your polling station is accessible, and details of the types of ID that are acceptable.

 

By voting in the General Election, you are helping to shape the future of the country.  Engaging with the electoral process, understanding the policies of each party, and voting for those who will best represent and advocate for the needs of disabled individuals can make a difference.  Remember, your voice matters so make sure it is heard this election.

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Sophie Fournel
Sophie Fournel
3 days ago

What did people think of the outcome of the General Election?

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