The Green Party has pledged to legalise assisted suicide the most controversial of several policies around disability in its general election manifesto.
The party said it would “provide the right to an assisted death within a rigorous framework of regulation”, although it said it would also provide “the highest level of palliative care”.
The party’s manifesto includes a number of pledges around discrimination, with promises to ensure “effective action” is taken to prevent discrimination against disabled people, oppose discrimination in the workplace and “work towards ending stigma against people with mental health problems, including discrimination in employment”.
A Green government would provide cheaper local transport – accessible to disabled people – by investing in buses and subsidising some routes.
On welfare, it says it would repeal Labour’s “oppressive” Welfare Reform Act, and cancel Department for Work and Pensions contracts with private sector providers that assess benefit entitlements.
This is believed to refer to Atos Healthcare, the company that carries out medical assessments of people who apply for disability benefits, but no-one from the party was available to comment.
The manifesto pledges to provide free social care to older people, although it is not clear whether this would also extend to disabled adults of working age. It also promises to “heal the rift” between adults’ and children’s social services.
In education, a Green government would provide training for school staff “on all diversity and inclusion issues”, with schools to promote equal opportunities in their anti-bullying procedures and “equality issues to be monitored in teaching recruitment”.
And it would campaign for crimes against disabled people – and homophobic and transphobic crime – to be “dealt with effectively and on a par with racist crimes”, with all police forces to appoint equality and diversity liaison officers to tackle, and take preventive action on, crimes against disabled people and other minorities.
It would also exempt disabled people from new laws it would introduce requiring parking charges for private carparks and banning new private retail parking in large developments.
Green manifesto length: 48 pages
Mentions of the words “disabled”, “disability” and “disabilities”: 10
15 April 2010