General Election 2015: Labour sets out policies to woo 12 million decisive disabled voters

Pledges include scrapping the 'bedroom tax', tough new laws on disability hate crimes and new work support programme

Matt Dathan
Monday 20 April 2015 15:02
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Rachel Reeves, shadow work and pensions secretary (AFP/Getty)
Rachel Reeves, shadow work and pensions secretary (AFP/Getty)

Labour has set out the policies it hopes will win over the votes of 12 million disabled people.

The party thinks disabled people will have a decisive role to play in who wins the election, with research showing that more than 100 marginal seats contain more disable people than the winning majorities at the last election.

Scrapping the ‘bedroom tax’, including disabled people in government policy committees, tough new laws on disability hate crimes and reform of the Work Capability Assessment were pledges announced by Rachel Reeves, the shadow work and pensions secretary.

According to the party’s research, 106 marginal constituencies in the UK have more disabled voters than the winning majority at the 2010 election.

Reversing the ‘bedroom tax’ – the phrase Labour coined for the spare room subsidy – would be a priority for an incoming Labour government, Ms Reeves said.

"Too many disabled people feel let down by the Tories, left behind by the recovery and left out of public life.

"The Tories have failed to support disabled people back into work, their Work Capability Assessment has caused stress and anxiety, and their Bedroom Tax has pushed disabled people into debt. Meanwhile disability hate crime is on the increase.

Ed Miliband hopes his party's policies aimed at disabled people will give his party the decisive edge in the election

"Labour has a better plan for disabled people. We have listened to disabled people and this manifesto outlines our commitment to their full inclusion and participation in all aspects of our society.

"We will scrap the Bedroom Tax, making hundreds of thousands of disabled people better off. We will reform the Work Capability Assessment and give disabled people the right support to get back into work. And we will give disabled people a greater voice in public life, and a greater role in shaping the policies that affect them."

Other policies include ensuring properly qualified teachers work with disabled children and those with special educational needs, and offer parity for mental and physical health in the NHS.


The Independent has got together with May2015.com to produce a poll of polls that produces the most up-to-date data in as close to real time as is possible.

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All data, polls and graphics are courtesy of May2015.com. Click through for daily analysis, in-depth features and all the data you need. (All historical data used is provided by UK Polling Report)

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