Monday, 20 August 2012

Independent Living Fund - Consultation on now

The Independent Living Fund (ILF) is an NDPB (Arms Length Body) of the DWP. Its offices are based in Nottingham which employs just over 130 staff. ILF exists to provide additional support in the form of direct payments to severely disabled people so that they have the choice and control that they need to live independent lives in the community.  For a great many ILF users, funding makes the difference between living independently in their own homes or living in residential care.  It makes the difference between doing what they want, when they want to, as opposed to doing what they're told.  For example; an ILF user, through the choice and control that ILF funding allows, may choose to go to bed at mid-night rather than being put to bed at 7.00 pm.

Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, permanently closed the ILF to new applications from May 2010 with a commitment to fund remaining users through the ILF to 2015 and to consult on how their support needs will be met from April 2015.  The consultation period started on 12 July and will run to 10 October.  The governments stated aim is to integrate ILF users into 'mainstream' social care by transferring responsibility for their support to local authorities.

PCS Regional Secretary Andrew Lloyd said, “The consequences of such a decision will be disastrous for the majority of ILF users.  Local authorities have seen massive cuts to their budgets under the current spending review.  Many disabled people were seeing cuts to the services and support provided by their local authority even before this.  They know that this decision will mean an end to the independence that they currently have and which they have fought for decades to achieve.”

Midlands TUC Regional Secretary Rob Johnston said, “Disabled people are already facing a barrage of cuts to their services and supports.  These proposed changes represent yet another blow to both disabled people and to the dedicated public servants who provide this important service.  What’s more, the proposals will potentially hinder, rather than help, disabled people to live independent lives which would be a very regressive, and depressing, step”.

As well as the services being lost nationally, it will mean that 130 jobs also are lost from the public sector and Nottingham.

It is important that we use the consultation to make well argued contributions to the debate and not let the government off the hook by not registering our opposition. Contributions can be made to the Consultation via
Additionally there is an on line petition to oppose the closure

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