Liberal Democrat Policies On Disability
More Help for People with Disabilities and their Carers
Liberal Democrats would help people with disabilities live as independently as possible, through:
• Helping severely disabled people of working age with their fuel bills by giving them
the same £200 a year Winter Fuel Payment that pensioners receive. Many people with
severe disabilities feel the cold intensely and cannot afford to heat their homes
adequately, despite the fact that low temperatures will often make their conditions
• Accessible public services – ensuring that schools are able to support pupils with Special
• Review the Carers’ Allowance in order to ensure that those voluntarily supporting other
members of society are supported too.
• Increasing access to psychological therapies, as recommended in the Layard Report. We
will help more people with mental health problems get back to work.
Fair Access to Local Transport
Poor transport acts as a barrier to jobs, particularly for the young, disabled people and ethnic minorities. Liberal Democrats will bring about major changes to the way bus transport is managed and operated, with more services and cheaper fares leading to increased mobility for all, especially the poorest. Liberal Democrats want to give more power to local councils, which would lead to more investment and cheaper fares. In London, where similar powers are available, passenger numbers have risen and people with disabilities have enjoyed improvements in access.
• We will reverse the Conservatives’ bus deregulation of the 1980s, with local authorities
being given much more control over pricing and planning of services, for example by
linking the franchising of more profitable routes with the provision of regular services to
less profitable areas.
Liberal Democrats believe that independent advice can help empower people with long-term conditions to make the best decisions about their care:
We will pilot a network of patient advocates dedicated to providing information, guidance and support to patients and carers in navigating the health and social care systems and in
providing support in how best to use direct payments and individual budgets. The
encouragement of personalised care plans will allow people with disabilities and their
carers more control over their healthcare.
Liberal Democrats believe that work is, for many, the best route out of poverty. It can give
confidence, a sense of well-being, and in general lead to a better quality of life. Liberal
• Use the voluntary and private sectors to provide high quality, tailored, back to work
support. This combination will offer a highly competitive and therefore efficient service.
• Reform the disability living allowance. A more detailed assessment should be available
to assess the additional costs of disability benefit.
• Increase engagement with employers to bring traditionally excluded groups into
• Improve public awareness and understanding of mental health issues. Public ignorance
acts as a huge barrier to work for this particular group. A similar programme in New
Zealand delivered a huge change in public opinion.