Feb 222013
 

Inclusion London logoDPAC Logo 3 amendment 1 (Small)

Defend Independent Living: Save the Independent Living Fund!

We are opposed to the closure of the Independent Living Fund – a national fund that enables disabled people with the highest support needs to live independently in the community

Without the ILF disabled people with the highest support needs will lose essential support – local authorities cannot provide disabled people with the same level or type of support as the ILF and some people who get support from the Independent Living Fund now are not eligible for support from local authorities at all

Disabled people with high support needs are most at risk of losing their independence and those risks are greater now than at any time since the ILF started due to the disproportionate impact of different austerity measures on disabled people

Disabled people will be forced into residential care against their wishes, losing choice and control over their lives

Closure of the Fund breaches the human rights of disabled people as enshrined in the United Nations Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities:

–         Article 19 – right to independent living

–         Article 28 – the right to an adequate standard of living and protection

Closure of the ILF will cost jobs:

–         Thousands of Personal Assistants employed through the ILF will lose their jobs

–         Disabled people will not have the support they need to be part of the community and to take up training, education and employment

–         Staff employed by the ILF will lose their jobs

The ILF is an effective and efficient way of providing support to disabled people with complex and high support needs:

  • ILF has higher satisfaction rates amongst disabled service users than LA services
  • Just 2% of funding goes on overheads (running the ILF) this is in stark contrast to the 16% of social care funding that goes on running LA social services departments.
  • ILF has the skills, knowledge and expertise to genuinely support disabled people with complex and high support needs, unlike LA’s.

We are calling for investment and expansion of the ILF that will provide:

–         State protection for the rights of disabled people with complex and high support needs to be supported to live independent lives

–         Expert independent living support based on the genuine independence, proper participation in society, and fulfillment of aspirations of disabled people.

–         A national model of support that does not vary depending on where you live

–         Support that is free at the point of need

 

Kevin Caulfield, Independent Living Fund, January 2013

Write to your MP

Dear_______________________ MP,

I am writing to urge you to defend disabled people’s right to independent
living which is under threat from the closure of the Independent Living Fund
(ILF), a source of essential support enabling disabled people with the highest
support needs to live in the community.

The closure of the ILF will mean for me….

On 18th December 2012 the government announced its decision to
permanently close the ILF following its closure to new applicants since
December 2010. The announcement followed a consultation that was flawed
and which ignored the overwhelming opposition to the closure from disabled
people and disabled people’s organisations as well as other organisations
and Local Authorities.

Government plans to merge the ILF with mainstream care and support will
result in a greatly reduced quality of life for disabled people and for some
will mean being forced into residential care against their wishes. This will
prevent disabled people from full inclusion and participation in the community,
as anticipated by Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities.

The Government’s decision not to put in place any ring-fencing for the
support for current ILF recipients when responsibilities are transferred to
local authorities and devolved administrations will inevitably lead to a loss of
support as many local authorities have stated in their consultation responses.

The ILF is needed to protect adults in the UK who are most at risk of losing
their independence. Those risks are greater now than at any time since the
ILF started, and there is clear evidence that without that protection being
continued on a national basis disabled people with high support needs will
lose their ability to work, to live in the community rather than in institutions,
and to be part of society or even carry out family roles. With the ILF already
shut to new applicants it is clear this is the consequence of closure of the
Fund.

The closure is a false economy, making relatively small savings through
reducing support while at the same time making people dependent and
economically helpless.

The ILF has proved effective in meeting independent living needs at a
national level and at a time when disabled people are being affected
disproportionately by many different austerity measures, the protection
provided by the ILF needs of this group nationally needs to be strengthened

not removed.

I ask you to sign Early Day Motion 651 and to call on the Government to
review this regressive step and to look instead at ways of expanding the
Independent Living Fund to provide needs-based support to all disabled
people in the UK who require it.
In order to protect disabled people’s right to live with choice and control over
their lives and with dignity we need the Independent Living Fund.

Yours sincerely,

 

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template_letter_to_MP__Final_+1 Word Doc

 

 

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  7 Responses to “Defend Independent Living: Save the Independent Living Fund!”

  1. I have posted an email to my MP who has pledged his support for EDM 651.

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