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General election: looking forward

December 16, 2019

We know that many of our supporters have questions about how the election result will impact their lives and those of others in the community. We have looked at the Conservative manifesto and highlighted the key promises that may affect people with M.E. the most.

Welfare

The Conservatives want to continue the roll out of Universal Credit, despite calls from disability charities, including Action for M.E., for a pause.

The government have promised to increase work allowances, a change they've estimated to be worth £630 a year to disabled people.

They have also said that they will reduce the number of reassessments people will have to go through if their disability is unlikely to change.

We will be looking at the detail on this section carefully and will be lobbying to ensure people with long-term, chronic conditions like M.E./CFS are not subject to repeated assessments.

The Conservatives also pledged to halve the disability employment gap, however there is no further detail on how they will do this at this time.

If you require information or advice around welfare benefits, you can download our free fact sheets here.

Health

On health, the party hopes to see an increase in student nurses through the re-introduction of nursing bursaries that they previously scrapped in 2017. Alongside foreign recruitment, they hope that this will also increase the number of nurses in the NHS.

They have also stated plans to hire 6,000 more GPs and primary care specialists. The Conservatives have pledged to secure a cross-party consensus on social care, however there is no detail on what this would look like.

Disability

In their election campaign, the Conservatives stated that they wanted to create a “National Strategy for Disabled People” with commitments to improve the benefits system along with plans for housing, education, transport and jobs.

People with M.E. often ask for more detail to see how these plans will affect them, at this point in time, it is unknown. However, we will continue to engage with politicians from all parties to raise the voice of people with M.E. and highlight how decisions and pledges can affect them.

Disability Rights UK produced a breakdown of each party’s manifesto, which details policies that could affect people with a disability more generally.

Looking forward

Action for M.E. will continue to engage with Government consultations to ensure that the voice of people with M.E. are represented and will use the data from our Big Survey to show the impact the condition has. During the election period we received nearly 300 pledges from election candidates. Out of those, 52 candidates were elected. We will be contacting them in the new year to discuss how they can take a stand for M.E.

If you want to make sure your MP is on our list, you can still reach out and ask them to meet us in the New Year to find out more about what they can do. You can find more information about this here.