Independent Living Fund is closed but disabled people vow to battle on


Despite all the protests over the last five years, the Independent Living Fund (ILF) closed yesterday (June 30).

The Conservative Government has claimed that disabled people will still be able to access funds to help them live independently, but these will be available from local councils now, rather than from central government.

They do not mention the fact that they have been cutting funding to local councils ever since they regained office as part of the Coalition Government in 2010, meaning that some may not have any money to give.

The Welsh Government has created a £20 million fund for disabled people west of the border, but what about the disabled of Newcastle – where welfare funds have been “plundered”, according to the BBC, to pay for other services?

The Tories have turned disability into a postcode lottery – as they have with the health service in England.

Disabled people have vowed to battle on – as this video from Kate Belgrave shows:

We can hope that nobody encounters serious suffering as a result of this change – but that hope may well be forlorn.

Vox Political readers are encouraged to notify This Blog of any news stories in your local area, covering the effects of the change – whether positive or adverse.

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3 thoughts on “Independent Living Fund is closed but disabled people vow to battle on

  1. Neilth

    People with disabilities rate very low on this Government’s agenda.
    They are unlikely to be Tories, they are comparatively small in number, their charities are under immense pressure though a lot of those who sit on the boards of the bigger charities come from the establishment.
    In their favour (political campaigning) they attract press coverage for their demonstrations. Even the right wing press like to show pictures of angry wheelchair users.
    This government want to cut spending by any means and without any real insight into the long term consequences.
    They can’t understand that a lack of support in everyday life for the vulnerable in society will result in far more expensive intervention in the future because the NHS will end up picking up the tab.
    Equally cuts to work and unemployment benefits will increase future home office costs due to a poverty driven increase in the crime rate at a time of decimation in our police service.
    This government has already started putting a scabs policy in place to reduce the effectiveness of any industrial action which they know is inevitable the more they attack the low paid majority.
    The Tories want the battles just as Thatcher prepared for and then provoked the Miners strike in the eighties. They hate any organised group who they see as a restraint on unbridled and unprincipled capitalism.
    In Wales the Labour led Welsh Assembly Government are trying, on an ever reducing and unfair budget,to cushion the vulnerable in Wales from the worst excesses of the London Tories.
    Wales care in the community for older people coming out of hospital is excellent in my area.
    My 95 year old mother managed to break her other hip just before Xmas. Since coming out of hospital she was entitled to 6 weeks free support with carers, physiotherapy and occupational therapy coming to her flat. They have provided mobility devices and modified her bathroom to give her a walk in shower.
    Once the 6 weeks free finished they continue to subsidise carers 4 times a day for which she contributes £55 a week out of the £80 attendance allowance (higher rate) she receives.
    She also has early stages of Alzheimer’s. Were it not for the local authority support she would either be in long term residential care or blocking a bed in hospital.
    Incidentally for the information of all those who criticise the Welsh NHS, this is the second time my mother has broken a hip. The first time was on holiday in France about 5 years ago. The treatment and care she received in the French hospital was excellent as you would expect from the system often cited as an exemplar for the way things should be done.
    The treatment this time in UHW Cardiff was just as good and exactly matched that in France.

  2. chriskitcher

    Having worked in Local Government for 42 years this is a very dangerous game being played especially In Tory controlled councils. My experience is that local Tory councillors are incapable of understanding how poverty affects the poor. In fact most appear to regard council services as a means of maintaining their grip on power and corruptly use these to secure re-election.

  3. JohnDee

    ‘Not sure if this on topic but here’s some shocking local news that prolly includes a lot of disabled bods:
    It includes the horrific statistic:
    “…and one eviction claim for every 73 rented properties…”

    Personally, I am in social housing affected by the bedroom tax. My landlord has secured a possession order on my home because of rent arrears accruing through waiting a year for an unsuccessful bedroom tax / housing benefit appeal.

    Although having an indefinite (sic) DLA award (until PIP knocks at my door, if I still have one to knock on) I am fortunate enough not to require the ILF.

    Dare I say it (look away if you were on the ILF) I fear IDS and that other worthless disability minister will have even greater reason to hide or forge those ESA figures that we’re after, Mike.

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