Election ‘24: What do the parties offer on disability?

June 26, 2024

Person in wheelchair in front of steps leading to polling station
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UP co-founder and CEO, Emma Livingstone, was interviewed on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire about how the various political parties’ manifestos stacked up on disability rights. Listen here:

Emma also wrote the following response after the publishing of the manifestos:

During this pre-election period, we are witnessing each political party debating how they will provide resources for minorities, often ignoring the disabled as a recognised minority group. At the same time, they are relying on substantial economic growth to generate the resources necessary to support these groups.

What is missing for the disabled is not only their recognition but also policies designed to illustrate how this particular minority can contribute to the nation’s wealth and be net contributors to the GDP rather than a drain or net cost to the economy.

If the COVID-19 pandemic showed us any benefit, it demonstrated that workers, including disabled workers, could be as productive remotely or from home as those based in traditional work locations. Political parties must amend their thinking to include the disabled as a recognised minority and create innovative policies that enable the disabled to use their abilities to contribute to the nation’s wealth.

It has been estimated that investing in those with Cerebral Palsy would result in a net contribution. Research commissioned by UP – The Adult Cerebral Palsy Movement estimates that investing in specialist CP services would cost an estimated £20 million per annum. Using the Government’s 1 to 4 ratio of investment to economic benefit, this could be achieved if only 4,000 or 3% of the adult population are helped to gain or stay in employment. However, we believe this could benefit over 20,000 adults, providing a gross economic benefit of £422 million to the economy.