This reply landed on my doormat on the morning of the General Election and in my view, is the best response I’ve had to date concerning the Great Barr Great Campaign. With a new government now in place, I will continue fighting for Equality for Disabled People, whatever it takes.
Thank you for your letter of 17th February to Nick Clegg regarding disabled people and the Equality Act. As you can imagine, Nick receives a high volume of correspondence and as he is currently very busy campaigning around the country, I am replying to correspondence on his behalf. Please accept my apologies as on this occasion, your letter seems to have been missed and so unfortunately it has taken us much longer to reply than we would have liked.
A fair society should treat its citizens equally and with dignity. Liberal Democrats believe that no matter who you are, where you come from or what your circumstances, you shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to fulfil your potential. We believe it is essential that we break down the unfair divisions in our society, and get rid of the significant barriers the disabled people in Britain still face.
By being in coalition government, the Liberal Democrats have been able to make important progress on this since 2010. Thanks to Liberal Democrats in government, there have been key advances in the fight for equality – like introducing same-sex marriage and banning age discrimination. But we must continue our work to fight prejudice and discrimination based on race, age, religion or belief, gender, sexuality, and disability. If elected to government, we will ensure that disabled people get the support and help they need to find work, whether it is supporting those who want to work, or ensuring fairer assessment and support for those who can’t.
We will work to improve the benefits system for disabled people, ensuring assessments are truly fair, with quick access to financial help for those who cannot work. We will move towards an integrated health service with more joined up care, more personal budgets so people have control over the care they need, and delivering equality of care for mental health patients. Only the Liberal Democrats create opportunity for everyone by building a stronger economy and a fairer society.
Our full manifesto is available to download for free – we also have a specialist ‘Disability manifesto’, both of these are available at www.libdems.org.uk/read-the-full-manifesto. I have included a number of our policies that I think you may be interested in below:
- We will enact the remaining unimplemented clauses of the Equality Act 2010
- We will implement the proposals set out in the 2015 Green Paper on Learning Disabilities
- Help greater numbers of disabled people work by encouraging employers to shortlist any qualified disabled candidate and providing advice about workplace adaptation
- Making more stations wheelchair accessible and giving wheelchair users priority over children’s buggies when space is limited
- Maintain Disabled Students’ Allowance
- Tackle disability hate crime by ensuring proper monitoring of incidents by police forces and other public authorities.
I strongly encourage you to have a look at both of these manifestos as they contain substantial detail on all of our policies. We also have a ‘Manifesto for Families’ and a ‘Manifesto for the Mind’, which you may find interesting.
Once again, thank you very much for taking the time to write to Nick Clegg about these issues. I wish you all the best for the future of your training business.
With best wishes,
Rosie Gray Office of Nick Clegg Liberal Democrats