This is the response that I received to my recent letter to Ed Miliband, asking him what his party would do to improve the lives of disabled people if he wins the General Election.
Thank-you for your letter dated 17 February 2015. I am replying on Mr Miliband’s behalf and I have passed your comments on. I also apologise for the delayed response. I hope that you can appreciate that as polling day gets closer we receive an ever increasing influx of communications. We are endeavouring to reply to each and every correspondence.
I can tell from your letter that you are passionate about disability and that is clear from your work with Flyinglady Training. I have visited the website and you are doing fantastic work to provide training and consultancy services to help promote the advantages of employing disabled people.
We are grateful that you took the time to contact us with your concerns and I thank you for sharing with us the steps you took to produce and publicise your own report into disabled accessibility. I can only apologise for the experience you have had thus far contacting Labour and our representatives. I have not personally seen the report you put together but I would implore you to send me a copy at your earliest convenience..
The Labour Party has a strong track record in disability rights. As you are no doubt aware, we introduced the Equalities Act 2010. In government, we worked to extend rights for disabled people, and remove the barriers they face in all aspects of life, from employment to public services.
Under David Cameron, rights for disabled people are under threat. The cost-of-living crisis is being felt acutely by disabled people. The unfair bedroom tax is hitting disabled people hardest and hate crime against disabled people is at worrying levels.
Labour will tackle this head on. We will abolish the bedroom tax, take tougher action on hate crime, and ensure disabled people are able to fully participate in society.
We are determined to change the rhetoric around disability, celebrating the contribution that disabled people make to society, not demeaning them.
Are you aware of Disability Labour? It is an affiliate of the Labour Party and exists to represent and support the interests of disabled Labour Party members and supporters. You can find out more information about Disability Labour by visiting disabilitylabour.org.uk. I would encourage you to take a look if you haven’t already.
Members can join for an annual subscription of £15, or on a reduced rate of £10. Disability Labour aims to identify and break down the disabling barriers within society and build links between the Labour Party and the disabled people’s movement. It also works towards achieving full and comprehensive civil rights of disabled people.
Thank you again for your letter. Once again, we really appreciate your comments and I’d be more than happy to take a look at your accessibility report.
James Bailey Election Communications Assistant
The Labour Party