Labour calls on Government To Save Independent Living Fund

tory cuts

MP calls for retention of vital fund which benefits the most severely disabled.

Originally posted here on April 1, 2014 by Dame Anne Begg.

Aberdeen South MP, Dame Anne Begg, has called on the Government to save the Independent Living Fund (ILF) and allow the most disabled people to continue to live independently in their homes. She has also called on the Scottish Government to clarify what they will do to protect the independence of those living with a severe disability in Scotland.

To show her support for the retention of Independent Living Fund, which is relied upon by over 18,000 severely disabled, Dame Anne is the primary sponsor an Early Day Motion calling on the Government to reverse their decision to close the fund in June 2015. You can view the EDM here.

The Independent Living Fund provides discretionary cash payments directly to disabled people so they can purchase care from an agency or pay the wages of a privately employed Personal Assistant (PA). This support enables disabled people to choose to live in their communities rather than in residential care.

The Government has stated that money will be devolved to already cash strapped local authorities in England, which means that it would cease to be ring-fenced and would be subject to normal constraints and cuts within a local authority budget. And the local authorities have already said that they will not be able to offer the current level of financial support provided on ILF, potentially forcing many disabled people to move out of their homes and into residential care homes.

 Further, the Scottish Government has given no indication whether this will also be the case in Scotland and Dame Anne has written to them seeking clarification.

 Dame Anne said:

I have spoken to a number of constituents and their families who have told me how important ILF is in allowing them to live independent and fulfilling lives in our community and I know that losing this support will have a devastating impact on them. 

“Not only are my constituents concerned about losing the fund, but they are also living with the uncertainty with regards to what support will be provided after the ILF closes.”

The Government initially decided to close the fund by March 2015 but this was delayed until June 2015 after five disabled people challenged the Government’s decision in the High Court.

The Court of Appeal unanimously quashed the decision to close the fund and devolve the money, on the basis that the minister had not specifically considered duties under the Equality Act, such as the need to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people and, in particular, the need to encourage their participation in public life. The court emphasised that these considerations were not optional in times of austerity.

In March 2014, the Government announced that it would go ahead with the closure of the fund on 30th June 2015 saying that a new equalities analysis had been carried out by the Department for Work and Pensions.

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With thanks to Robert Livingstone for his legendary memes

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14 thoughts on “Labour calls on Government To Save Independent Living Fund

  1. so yet again IDS ignores the high court becouse the bottom line is his opinions are the only ones that matter and sod what the courts and anybody else says i dont know what hes got over DC but to prevent DC removing him MUST BE IMPORTANT BECAUSE IDS REFUSED TO BE MOVED ANDDC KEPTHIM IDS will prove to be the POISONED CHALICE for DC however this odious little man and motor mouth continue to attack the most vulnerable people in society when all they want is the right to be able to stay in their own homes with the support they need how can IDS justify taking relatively asuuport allowance for 18000 people it seems to me to be aidealogic excersis that serves no other purpose but to feed the ego of this man and his cohorts it is an ultra right wing agenda that IDS is following the press dont question him hes given full reign i watched him on #bbcqt and OWEN JAMES tried to get the man to explain why disasble people were dying days after being assessed fit to work by ATOS IDS LOST HIS TEMPER SHOUTING 2.5 MILLION DISABLED PEOPLE ARE LANGUISHING ON DLA I AM GOING TO GET THEM BACK INTO WORK call me asoftee what sort of person with thatattitude is doing in a crucial job as he has im an old man and seen a lot of yhings in my lifetime but i have never known anything even close to this and im convinced the british people if they knew the extent this man has gone with dissabled people they would be appalled it simply in humane in every way it is criminal npo other civilised country behaves in this way i despair it beggars belief

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