The Government's plans to do away with the Independent Living Fund (ILF) on 30th June are going to have an immense impact on many individuals Dao works with either directly or indirectly.
The ILF helps over 18,000 disabled people with high support needs to live independent lives in the community rather than in residential care. The fund was introduced in 1988 as the Conservative party at that time realised that supporting disabled people with personal care needs to live independent lives, in their own homes, was cheaper by far than residential care.
After June 2016 there will be no additional funding for already cash-strapped local authorities to meet their legal obligations. The LA’s budgets have already been cut by £991 million in 2011, £890 million in 2012, and they are being cut by a further 28% in 2013-15.
There is no overall scheme to ensure the safety of the people who depend on the ILF. The overall sense of what will happen is that LA’s will not be able to supply the budgets needed for disabled people to continue to have the same levels of PA support. Individuals will be left to fight for their support needs to be recognised.
The policy to scrap the ILF is not designed to save money. The implication is that most group 1 users will no longer be eligible for any funding due to tightening of local authority eligibility criteria. The average cost of the ILF is just £345 a week compared to the average cost of residential care being £738 a week.
This is a direct attack on disabled people designed to divide, weaken and destroy the spirit of an already fragmented community. More than 18,000 disabled people will lose an essential lifeline, devastating their quality of life.
Please write to your local MP, and sign the 38 Degree Petition
We know we’ve got a fight to survive in the year ahead. Many of our artists, dependent on the Independent Living Fund are under attack. We need to come together creatively and positively to challenge the threat we are under from measures designed by people in power who basically don’t seem to have little clue about the real world.
The letter I received personally from my own MP to complain about the closure of the ILF said:
“...Ministers have considered the implications of the fund and have undertaken a new equality analysis and gathered further evidence. Following this, the Government has decided to close the ILF on 30th June 2015. This will provide disabled people with choice and control over their care within the mainstream system, with local authorities responsible for meeting the care of support needs of ILF users in England. Local authorities will be funded so that they will be abler to meet their new responsibilities towards ILF users. Awards will be maintained for current users until the ILF closes.”
We’ve got six months to raise a fuss and ensure that our voices are heard above those who may possibly in all sincerity believe that the closure of the ILF will provide disabled people with choice and control!
Join DPAC for a Mass Action to save the ILF, Tuesday, January 6th 1.30pm for 2pm start. House of Commons, SWIA 0AA OR Join Online. DPAC have prepared a webpage with tweets on that you can use. For more information please click here to go to the DPAC website