Disability manifesto / King’s Fund
Stronger Economy. Fairer Society. Opportunity for Everyone
A £150m package for Britain’s 6.5 million carers is being announced by the Liberal Democrats today as part of our Disability Manifesto.
The package will help carers across Britain who support their loved ones who are older, disabled or seriously ill.
Around one in every eight adults provide unpaid care for family and friends. Under the Liberal Democrats these carers will receive a £250 grant to ease the cost of looking after family members who require support for 35 hours or more each week over a 12 month period.
In addition, the NHS will have a legal duty to identify carers and introduce an innovative new ‘Carer’s Passport’ that provides people who look after ill and vulnerable loved ones with privileged support.
This could range from more flexible visiting hours and free hospital parking, through to free cinema tickets, free restaurant meals, and free gym sessions.
Carers could get an additional five days paid additional ‘care leave’ a year, and would be allowed to do more work without losing their Carer’s Allowance by extending the ‘earnings limit’ from £110 per week to £150 per week, putting more money back into their pockets.
In government, the Liberal Democrats would also appoint a new cross-government ‘Carer’s Champion’ to ensure carers get a voice at the heart of government.
The Disability Manifesto also includes measures to simplify the disability benefits system and protect benefits for the disabled from cuts to welfare, encourage employers to take on more people with disabilities who want to work, give people with disabilities better access to transport, and tackle disability hate crimes.
King’s Fund report
The latest King’s Fund quarterly monitoring report suggests the NHS is facing its “biggest challenge for years” with mounting deficits, worsening performance and declining staff morale.
That's why Liberal Democrats have a credible plan to invest the £8 bn per year that NHS bosses say it needs by 2020. We are the ONLY party to come up with a plan.
We will invest £1bn from higher taxes on the wealthy to enable the NHS to provide care closer to home, so fewer people have to go into hospital.
The NHS needs more than investment. So we are calling on all parties to join us in a non-partisan review of health and care after the election to ensure our NHS is safeguarded for the future.