Phelim Mac Cafferty: Disabled people have been scapegoated by the Tories

Phelim Mac Cafferty
Phelim Mac Cafferty

This week disability charity Scope reported that of the 13m disabled people in the UK, 89 per cent have said they will vote at the next General Election on June 8. 
This is very encouraging news for everyone except the Conservative government which has systematically scapegoated disabled people.

Don’t just take it from me – in a report from November last year, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities stated that the Conservative Government’s austerity plans “disproportionally and adversely affected the rights of persons with disabilities.”

It isn’t only the United Nations which has drawn our attention to the disgraceful attacks on disabled people. Further figures from Scope tell us that due to the loss of vital care and support services, a massive 70% of disabled people surveyed were sometimes unable to wash, dress or eat.

Are some of our most disadvantaged residents not worth the dignity that you or I possibly take for granted to eat, drink, go to the toilet, to learn, to have a social life? The pursuit of cuts by the Conservative Government only highlights how rights for the disabled are being thrown by the wayside.

I have been fighting against these pernicious policies. Alongside other Greens and community organisations, I was proud to be involved in the Grace Eyre Foundation campaign against cuts to disability support. I voted against outsourcing learning disability accommodation – making the plea that our vulnerable residents shouldn’t be forced from their homes.

One study tells us that the severely disabled are 19 times worse off through cuts. In the world’s 5th richest economy, this is simply grotesque. As the Green Party’s general election candidate for Hove I’ll be reminding everyone that Tory Government cuts have disproportionately hit disabled people.

This is not just about funding, this is also about fighting to restore the dignity some of the most disadvantaged people in our city have had stolen from them. Standing on my record, I will continue to push for equality and genuine independence for disabled people in Hove and throughout our country. Don’t just hope for a better future. Vote for one.