URGENT ACTION: #SaveILF judgement due 10am Monday 8 December 2014
The court judgement on the future of the Independent Living Fund is expected on Monday 8 December.
The ILF is a central fund that disabled people with the highest support needs use to employ the personal assistants they need to lead independent lives. The government wants to close this fund. The court decision on a challenge to that closure proposal is due on Monday.
Please join disabled people and campaigners at the high court in London or online 10am as they await the decision - see details of how you can support and participate below.
Video: disabled people talk about the Independent Living Fund and how the closure of the fund will affect them:
Disabled People Against Cuts says:
As the future of disabled people’s right to independent living hangs in the balance, disabled people will not be beaten.
Join us to get the message out loud and clear.
Whatever the legal ruling on the future of the Independent Living Fund, we will not be pushed back into the margins of society. We will not go back into the institutions. Our place is in the community alongside our family and friends and neighbours, and we are fighting to stay.
On Monday 8 December at 10am, the judgement in the most recent legal challenge against the closure of the Independent Living Fund will be passed down.
In November last year, the Court of Appeal quashed an earlier government decision to close the ILF.
Court of Appeal judges were unanimous that the closure of the fund would have an ‘inevitable and considerable adverse effect, particularly on those who will as a consequence lose the ability to live independently.”
In March, this year the then Minister for Disabled People Mike Penning retook the closure decision and announced a new date of June 2015 for permanent closure of the ILF - the fund that provides essential support for disabled people with the highest support needs to live in the community. Without this fund, these disabled people face a life of residential care in carehomes.
In October, a second legal challenge was brought to the high court by disabled claimants claiming that the minister had not considered any new information to properly assess the practical effect of closure on the particular needs of ILF users.
The Department for Work and Pensions mounted a defence based on their assertion that the minister had adequate information to realise that the independent living of the majority of ILF users will be significantly impacted by the closure of the fund.
The closure of the ILF effectively signals the end of the right to independent living for disabled people in the UK.
While never perfect, the ILF represents a model of support that has enabled thousands of disabled people to enjoy meaningfully lives and to contribute to society as equal citizens.
The closure of the ILF to new applicants in December 2010 has resulted in disabled people trapped indoors without their basic needs being met, treated worse that animals and threatened with residential care if they complain to their local authorities about needing more support.
The fight to #SaveILF is part of a much wider fight for social justice for all disabled people.
Whatever happens on Monday disabled people will not go away until we have reclaimed our rights.
What you can do:
We are asking all supporters who can to get down to the high court on Monday and join us.
The court has said there will be no hearing. We say we will be there anyway to find out the judgement together in solidarity.
- Organise your own #SaveILF vigil outside your town hall and invite your local politicians and press along.
More and more councils are coming out and saying that if the ILF closes and funding is devolved to local authorities, they will ringfence for existing ILF recipients any money they are given from central government as part of the closure. This will mitigate against the loss of independent living for those individuals which is an inevitable consequence of the government proposals.
- If your council has come out and committed to ringfence, then use this as a chance to congratulate them. If they haven’t, this is a chance to mount pressure.
- Get involved on-line and through social media to get the message out loud and clear: disabled people are here to stay.
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