Received from Inclusion London
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Independent Living Fund – the Judgment
November 6th 2013 – 9.45am
Outside front entrance Royal Courts of Justice, the Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
The Court of Appeal judgment in the legal challenge taken by disabled people against the Department for Work and Pension’s plans to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF) will be handed down tomorrow in a short hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The closure of the ILF signals the end of disabled people’s right to independent living and has been described by commentators as “a nasty cut” because of the enormous devastating impact it will have on the lives of people with highest levels of support need.
The ILF was set up in 1988 to support disabled people to live in the community. Since then it has helped thousands in all areas of the country to live active and full lives.
The Government’s consultation on the future of the ILF was done in bad faith. It talked about integration with mainstream adult social care and presented the closure as a reform rather than a cut but the local authority social care system is not geared up to support independent living for disabled people.
Linda Burnip from Disabled People Against Cuts said, “For people who currently receive the ILF the loss of their independence and freedom and dignity will be a massive blow. For people who have missed out on the ILF we are seeing a generation of disabled people who will never know what it is to enjoy equal life chances. We are hearing how since the closure of the ILF to new applicants in December 2010, someone who 10 years ago would have been judged eligible for 24/7 support now will only get a few hours a day leaving them isolated, unable to contribute and without any sort of quality of life.”
Tracey Lazard Chief Executive from Inclusion London said, “The closure of the Independent Living Fund would signal the end of disabled people’s right to independent living, something our movement fought long and hard for, the right for disabled people to live in the community with choice and control over their own lives regardless of impairment.”
Disabled people will be gathering with our supporters outside the High Courts from 9.45am in a colourful vigil that will include a ‘cage’ representing the life disabled people fear they will be returning to if the ILF closes.
Notes to Editors
1) Inclusion London is a pan-impairment organisation promoting equality for London’s Deaf and disabled people. http://www.inclusionlondon.co.uk
2) Disabled People Against Cuts is a national campaign led by disabled people to oppose the attacks on disabled people being carried out under austerity. http://www.dpac.co.uk
3) The Independent Living Fund (ILF) was set up in 1988 to provide the additional funding disabled people needed to live at home when the alternative was residential care.
4) The Fund which was permanently closed to new applicants in December 2010 will be shut down completely from 31 March 2015 according to government proposals put forward in their consultation on the Future of the Independent Living Fund.
5) For a geographical breakdown of where current ILF users were living as of December 2012 see: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/user-profiles-1212.pdf
For more information:
Campaigns and Communications Officer, Inclusion London
Mob: 07505 144371
Sophie Partridge: email@example.com (Sophie is unable to use the telephone but is on Skype)
Mary Laver : Mobile No 07742658100 BT Tel No 0191 266 5197
Anne Pridmore: 01858 419647; 0787 2038370
Anne Novis: firstname.lastname@example.org; 020 8473 6324
Christine Stringer (son is a ‘group 1’ ILF user who may not qualify for support from his LA once the ILF is closed): Mob 07703736596 Landline 01902 608627
Leah Finch (ILF user for 20 years): 07732147917
Kevin Caulfield: 07899 752877; email@example.com
Solicitors representing the claimants involved in the legal challenge:
Scott-Moncrieff &Associates (Diane Astin/Kate Whittaker)
Office 7, 19 Greenwood Place
London NW5 1LB Tel: 020 7485 5588/07792 700825
Deighton Pierce Glynn (Louise Whitfield)
8 Union Street
London SE1 1SZ Tel: 020 7407 0007
Campaigns and Communications Officer
336 Brixton Road, London, SW9 7AA
Tel: 020 7036 6032
SMS: 0771 839 4687