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Closing the Independent Living Fund will cost disabled people their independence

Location: UK » East Midlands » NG
Closing the Independent Living Fund will cost disabled people their independence

As PCS branch secretary at the Independent Living Fund, I have experienced first hand the difference that the funding administered by the ILF makes to the lives of some of the most severely disabled people in society.  Having permanently closed the ILF to new applications from May 2010, the government consultation on the future for the remaining 20,000 users is underway and closes on the 10 October.

Put simply, the ILF funding facilitates independence for disabled people.  By funding over and above the support provided by local authorities; disabled people are able to buy the additional social and domestic support, with a high degree of choice and control that enables them to live independent lives in the community.

Local authorities, even in the ‘good old’ pre-austerity days, could not fund the level of support required by disabled people and, for the majority, true independence would not have been possible with LA funding alone.  With massive budget cuts handed down to LAs, independence for disabled people - something that is recognised by the United Nations as a basic human right - will be a near impossibility.

So what are the affects of closure going to be?  I, along with 120 other people in Nottingham and around 70 self-employed assessors across the UK, can look forward to a life on the dole.  But much more important than that, 20,000 disabled people can look forward to a life of virtual house arrest, being forced out of their homes and into residential care, homelessness or worse.  Their support workers; many of whom are part-time workers from the poorest sections of society, will be thrown on to the dole too.  Many unpaid carers (parents, partners, siblings and children), many of whom are able to work because of the support ILF funding buys, may be forced to give up their jobs to support disabled relatives at home. 

Please support the ILF, its users and its staff.  Please reply to the government’s consultation and say NO to closure of the ILF.

bit.ly/Njxi52

Thank you

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