Ed Miliband promises that Labour will save the Independent Living Fund.

At a Q&A with this morning, he gave a solid and passionate commitment that *will* . We’re with you.

             Ed Miliband Promises Labour Will #SaveILF

Labour have fought very hard to save the Independent Living Fund, which the Coalition have insisted on withdrawing, despite this being in contravention of our own laws and internationally established Human Rights. This commitment from Ed Miliband is in line with Labour’s  Equality Act, 2010.

I am very pleased to see this firm commitment.

In May 2014 the Court of Appeal, in the case of Stuart Bracking and others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions found that the Department of Work and Pensions’ decision to close the Fund was not lawful, overturning the previous High Court decision of April 2013. It decided that the Department had not complied with the Public Sector Equality Duties imposed by section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

Lord Justice McCombe said “there is simply not the evidence … to demonstrate to the court that a focussed regard was had to the potentially very grave impact upon individuals in this group of disabled persons, within the context of a consideration of the statutory requirements for disabled people as a whole”..

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.

After stating that the final legal ruling would not be challenged, on March 6, 2014, the Government announced in authoritarian style that it would go ahead with the closure of the ILF fund on 30th June 2015, saying that a new equalities analysis had been carried out by the Department for Work and Pensions. The government has shown a complete disregard for disabled people and the Court of Appeal decision. The government had failed to comply with the equality duty – and this was also a rare victory entirely due to disabled people fighting back.

It’s a relief to many of us to know that under a Labour government, those of us who need it can access the Independent Living Fund indefintely.

Thank you to all of the MPs, such as Dame Anne Begg, who have fought so hard on our behalf.

Related:

Independent Living Fund

DWP’s decision to abolish the Independent Living Fund overturned thanks to Labour’s Equality  Act, but the court ruling is ignored.

Labour calls on Government To Save Independent Living Fund.

Update

Ed Miliband – Transcript:

“First of all we said to the government they should not get rid of the independent living fund in the way they are doing. What they are doing is getting rid of it and passing it down to the local authorities, passing that money down to the local authorities.

So, firstly they should not be getting rid of the Independent living fund. And we’ve said that if it does go to the local authorities that budget has got to be protected.

We’ve got to find ways of protecting that money for some of the most vulnerable disabled people, some of whom I’ve met and who are saying “this is a terrible situation, what’s happening to the independent living fund”.

Secondly, we’ve got to stop the assault on disabled people in relation to the medical tests that are going on and have fair and proper medical tests when it comes to the medical system.

[Response to audience member – inaudible] Well you are right sir. We’ve got to sort out the way that these medical tests work. And we’ve said we are going to reform what is called the work capability assessment so that it gives a proper deal to disabled people”.

From: A better future for disabled people: mini-manifesto:

“And we will protect users of the Independent Living Fund, working with disabled people to develop clear guidance to Local Authorities on how the funds that will be transferred to them should be spent.”

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6 thoughts on “Ed Miliband promises that Labour will save the Independent Living Fund.

  1. Reblogged this on stewilko's Blog and commented:
    It’s a relief to many of us to know that under a Labour government, those of us who need it can access the Independent Living Fund indefintely.

    – What a relief. Another reason to get out and vote in May. Hopefully we will return a Labour party to government.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    This is good news after the government’s continued efforts to close the fund down, even when the courts had ruled their efforts to do so contravened the equalities act. The closure of the Fund, and the devastating effect this would have on the disabled, was not permissible even under austerity. So naturally, the Tories went ahead anyway, and claimed that the DWP had found that its closure was indeed entirely consistent with current equalities legislation. More mendacity from the Tories, as if that surprises anyone.
    This is great news, as apart from the commitment to provide equal opportunities for the disabled, it shows that Labour are not going to slavishly follow the lead of the Tories. there are any number of very good reasons to vote for them in the forthcoming elections. This is one of them.

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  3. Hi, it’s important to get the word out there that this is NOT what Ed Miliband said yesterday at all. I have a copy of the transcript from the meeting. Following this tweet many people got in contact with Labour to find out what was happening and the position has not changed that whilst Labour is critical of the government’s decision to close the ILF, Labour will also close it.

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    1. I spoke to Kate Green previously on this who assured me that the ILF will NOT be closed, though she said that given the infra structure will no longer be in place to adminster it as previously, that LAs may well be used to act as the administrative bodies for the immediate future. That was just before christmas. Both Miliband and Green have said the funding will be protected in the event of it going to LAs/Councils. To claim that Labour intends to close it is just plain wrong. I would like to see your evidence please, that Labour intends to close the ILF, because that is NOT what Labour ministers have been telling me.

      It’s very important to get an ACCURATE word out there.

      Thanks

      Like

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