Condem Government set to Strip Disabled Peoples’ Basic Human Rights

Received from Linda Burnip   at DPAC

The government’s ill-thought through plans to scrap the Independent Living Fund (ILF) from 2015 will not only wreck disabled people’s lives but potentially push them into residential institutions rather than being able to live in the community. This is in spite of these rights being guaranteed by the ratification of a United Nations Convention.

Leamington Lobby

The planned changes will cost taxpayers millions of pounds more every year by forcing disabled people back into institutions, and by creating greater ill-health leading to a greater drain on the NHS all at public cost.

The ILF supports independent living for some 20,000 disabled people with the highest support needs across the UK, enabling real choice and control over how they live their lives and creating employment. It contributes to UK tax gains and public savings.

Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, announced the permanent closure of the ILF to new applications in December 2010.  Her statement then, and her recent statement of December 2011, point to the permanent closure of the ILF by 2015. 

A Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC) led campaign is being launched on February 13th  when Jamie Bolling Executive Director of European Network for Independent Living (ENIL) will be flying in from Sweden to support UK campaigners. Jamie says “Cuts across Europe must stop! They are breaches of human rights and are taking the lives of disabled people. Without the ILF there will be no choice for disabled people and choice is a right.”

Campaigners plan to  deliver a letter signed by over 70 of the country’s major user-led disabled people’s organisations as well as around 400 individual disabled people and others to Maria Miller. The letter calls for the continuation after 2015 of a nationally transportable, ring-fenced funding stream to meet the additional costs of care and support for those with the highest needs.

Anyone wishing to attend should assemble from 2pm  outside DWP offices, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street, SW1H 9DA. Contact details below if you require further information.

Anne Novis who was awarded an MBE for her work on disability hate crimes said “ As an ILF user I have been in fear and anxiety for over a year wondering how I will manage to have any life after the ILF closes down. I have sought information, something that would reassure me my voice and that of the thousands of ILF users would be heard, but we have had nothing. With all the other threats and cuts in care support and welfare those most in need , as we are defined by this government, have absolutely no reassurance that our needs will be met because we see and hear each day of another disabled person kill themselves, be penalised, demonized and impoverished simply for being disabled.”

Another fund user said “The support from the ILF has made the difference from having very basic support to having a life. It has played an immeasurably positive role in the lives of disabled people with significant support needs and their families.”

The campaign is also supported by Mark Serwotka general secretary of the PCS union.

In adding his signature, Serwotka said: “This government’s treatment of disabled people reveals the true face of the Tories, who are seeking to make the most disadvantaged and least culpable pay the highest price for economic problems caused by the failures of a financial and political elite.

Recent exposure of ministers’ attempts to mislead parliament about the extent of opposition to their cruel and unnecessary cuts shows they fear the excellent campaigns being run by Disabled People Against Cuts and others, which we support fully.”


Press contacts

DPAC press office – 01926 842253, mobile and on the day 0771 492 7533 or

HAFCAC 07899 752877

Notes to editors

ILF allows ‘severely’ disabled people to live in the community, to go to university and in many cases to work and pay taxes. The Personal Assistants employed through this funding also pay taxes and contribute economically.

We believe that Maria Miller is wrong to say this fund is financially unsustainable as the ILF saves the state on average £37,888 per annum per person eligible for such funding. (the difference between the average ILF payment and cost of residential care at 2010 prices)

The cost to the state of scrapping ILF to save a mere £330 million will be a minimum of paying £757,760,000 * a year in residential care costs. That is more than double the current cost but this figure still excludes the loss of tax revenue as disabled people will no longer be able to work or employ PAs. It also excludes the extra costs which are likely to be generated for the NHS as hugely increased numbers of disabled people are likely to be denied overnight care and left instead with only incontinence pads, or as support  deteriorates lead to more health problems.

Most importantly for those disabled people who will lose this financial support they will lose any independence and choice in their lives. For those with complex support needs which is the case for those in receipt of ILF funding the cost of residential care according to the Scottish government’s estimate is £72,000 per annum.

*20,000 ILF users multiplied by the extra cost of residential care.

Report by Scottish government  



It would be really helpful if those of you unable to come to deliver the letter could use this to send to local media in your areas or use it to write a letter to local papers (letters sometimes get published when PRs are ignored). You could add a few comments in notes to editor about how changes will affect you if they happen if you want to. Local papers like real life examples.

Pass this onto others you know too if you think they can use it.
For anyone worried about cuts to benefits and services, please sign this petition too . Ask as many others as you can to sign, and in turn tell them to gather support too.

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5 Responses to “Condem Government set to Strip Disabled Peoples’ Basic Human Rights”

  1. Daniel Miles Says:

    They want to kill all non-productive people. It’s cheaper without actual death camps … just make them die in their own homes, when they starve, or die without the heating on, or just give up and kill themselves.

    We’re all stuffed, the sick and disabled. I am not brave enough to set fire to myself in the Members Lobby at the Palace of Westminster. But good God, wouldn’t that be something!

  2. malka Says:

    sorry to say i agree with Daniel……..i’ve seen this coming since May 2010, the agenda to crush the vulnerable has become manifest…..
    the carers and disabled charities have let the people they represent down badly, coluding with the this tory government instead of fighting for the rights of those without a voice….i fear this is the tip of the iceberg starting to show..

  3. Ant Lea Says:

    Dear sirs/ladies. I visited a client yesterday on a psychiatric ward. She had been contacted by ATOS regarding a medical. Her response to this was to slice her own ….. in front of her family. I work closely with some of the most extreme clients with severe psychiatric issues. We would like to know, that when ATOS were informed 10 days ago by a forensic psychologist and CPN is why did ATOS …fir…stly agree and cancel appointment, then couple days later send her another appointment, where on this occasion she suceeded in severly put her health at risk and ended up back into hospital, which she had only just been released from 24 hours prior.

    Is this a normal and acceptable standard and practice please, as currently I have several clients being put through this intrusive process without any investigation into clients wellbeing before insisting on attendances.Under the EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES and Reg29ESA regulation 2009 it states catergorically. That anyone with heightened anxiety,fear and depression etc, must not be approached or informed of benefits being, stopped,reduced,suspended, if this would cause and exaserbation of client’s psychiatric condition.

  4. Gill MAlik Says:

    This is “compassionate Conservatism” at its worst. We must fight back for our vunerale people. We care even if the Tories don’t. They are a disgrace.

  5. Dean Cooper Says:

    please spare a few moments to sign the above

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