Disability in the 2024 General Election

3rd July 2024 by Scarlett James

What do the three major parties’ manifestos have to say about disability, neurodiversity and health? Which party offers the main chance of change for disabled people?

We’ve taken a look at the manifestos from Labour, the Conservatives, and the Liberal Democrats. While it’s not a full outline, it might provide a helpful brief insight into the major points that will affect the Disabled community. We’ve shared some of our thoughts on the manifestos overall but, as always, the decision on who you vote for is yours to make! Do your research, check out your local MPs’ priorities and voting history, investigate other manifestos outside of the three main parties, and ensure you feel confident you’re casting a vote that aligns with your values and hopes for the future.


What they’ve promised:

Healthcare & Mental Health

  • An additional 40,000 more NHS appointments a week.
  • A fair pay agreement for care workers to tackle low recruitment and burnout.
  • Labour plans to add 8,500 mental health staff and modernise mental health legislation, especially to stop discrimination against Black people.

Social Care & Inclusion

  • Labour promises a community-wide approach to “SEND” (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, the term most commonly used in education and care to describe disability and neurodiversity), improving inclusivity and expertise in mainstream schools while ensuring special schools cater to those with complex needs.


  • They plan to introduce disability and ethnicity pay gap reporting for large employers and improve employment support.
  • They also highlight their intent to tackle the Access to Work backlog.

Transport & Accessibility

  • Labour’s Great British Railways will focus on reliable, accessible services.

Support for Disabled People

  • They aim to devolve funding for local work and health plans, reform Work Capability Assessments, and support Disabled people into employment by protecting their benefits in the case where jobs don’t work out.
  • They’ll protect Disabled people by making hate crimes aggravated offences.

Our thoughts:

Labour’s manifesto is somewhat underwhelming when it comes to supporting Disabled people. There are few specifics around how their plans will improve our community’s quality of life.

There are some highlights: recognising the backlog of Access to Work and planned reforms to the Mental Health Act and SEND provision. Overall, it doesn’t indicate that a Labour government will make things worse for our community; it’s just not as hopeful as it could be.

Read the Labour party manifesto.


Healthcare & Mental Health

  • They aim to recruit 92,000 more nurses and 28,000 more doctors into the NHS.
  • They plan on delivering 40 new hospitals by 2030.


  • Their approach includes delivering the Disability Action Plan.
  • They also outline a plan to reform PIP, so people receiving PIP for mental health reasons are offered treatment instead of payment.

Youth & Social Care

  • They propose a National Service for 18 year-olds.
  • They aim to recruit and retain more careworkers.

Our thoughts

The Conservatives have undoubtedly harmed the Disabled community over the last 14 years, with austerity, the awful handling of the Covid-19 pandemic as just two examples. This manifesto doesn’t give much hope that they won’t continue in the same vein. They commit to making it harder for people to receive PIP for mental ill health. Their plan for National Service is unfit for a generation with diverse disabilities and neurodiversities, raising many concerns about how disabled and neurodiverse young people would be treated if they weren’t to engage with National Service. In many ways, it’s a troubling manifesto for our community.

Read the Conservative party manifesto.

Liberal Democrats

Social Care

  • They plan to trial personal health and social care budgets and use digital platforms to connect care users with carers, family, and friends.
  • Aiming to end the postcode lottery for services, they propose a National Care Agency and consistent funding for free personal care.
  • They’ll increase Carer’s Allowance, introduce paid carer’s leave, and make caring a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.


  • The Lib Dems plan to fix Statutory Sick Pay by making it available to one million more workers who earn less than £123 a week and making payments available from the first day not the fourth.
  • They plan to simplify and speed up the application process of Access to Work and raise awareness of the scheme.

Disability Rights

  • They want to improve accessibility standards of physical spaces.
  • They plan to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into UK law.
  • They will promote the use of British Sign Language.
  • They will develop a cross-government strategy to tackle discrimination faced by neurodiverse people.
  • They plan to improve legislation regarding Blue Badges.

Our thoughts

This is a slightly more hopeful manifesto from the Liberal Democrats. It outlines many more specific ways they will reduce inequalities and promote opportunities for our community. Promises such as reform to Sick Pay and the Access to Work scheme are positive! Still, there is a lot more that they could do to tackle the impacts of the Tory austerity measures of the last 14 years.

Read the Liberal Democrat party manifesto.


There is a lot we’ve missed out of this overview so please take the time to read the three parties’ manifestos, as well as the manifestos of other parties and independent candidates standing for MP for your constituency. Then, you’ll be ready to vote confidently on the 4th of July!

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