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URGENT ACTION: #SaveILF judgement due Monday!!!
10am – Monday 8th December 2014
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, 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 10am Monday 8th December the judgment 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 the government’s decision to close the ILF with the Court of Appeal judges unanimous in their view that the closure of the fund would have an ‘inevitable and considerable adverse effect which the closure of the fund will have, 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 decision and announced a new date of June 2015 for permanent closure of the Fund that provides essential support enabling disabled people with the highest support needs to live in the community when the alternative would be residential care.
In October a second legal challenge was heard in the high court brought 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. Whilst 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 Fund to new applicants in December 2010 has resulted in disabled people trapped indoors without their basic needs being met, treated worse that animals and if they complain to their local authorities about needing more support, threatened with residential care.
The fight to #SaveILF is part of a much wider fight for social justice for all disabled people.
Whatever happens on Monday disabled people are not going away. We will be in the faces of government until our rights to live as equal citizens in society is recognised and valued.
What you can do:
Come down to the high court. The court have said there will be no hearing. We say we will be there anyway to find out the judgment together in solidarity. We are asking all supporters who can to get down to the high court on Monday and join us. If travel costs are the only thing holding you back let us know.
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 that 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 ring fence then use this as a chance to congratulate them – if they haven’t as a chance to mount pressure.
Get involved on-line and through social media to get the message out loud and clear: disabled people are not going away until we have reclaimed our rights.
Campaigns and Communications Officer
336 Brixton Road, London, SW9 7AA
Tel: 020 7237 3181, office SMS: 0771 839 4687