Help & Advice11th November 2013

Independent Living Fund - Court of Appeal Update

Following a legal challenge against the closure of Independent Living Fund, the Government need to re-think their plans

by Sarah Lawrnce

Disability Wales News Release

Last week, the Court of Appeal upheld a legal challenge by five disabled people against the UK Government’s decision to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in March 2015.

The Court of Appeal quashed that decision, because it found that the government had not given proper consideration to issues raised by the Equality Act, which included the need to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people, and to encourage them to take part in a public life.

The UK Government has announced today that it would not appeal the decision, but, in light of guidance provided, ministers would be invited to make a new decision on its future based on further advice.

Disability Wales’ Chief Executive Rhian Davies welcomed the announcement as an “an amazing breakthrough” and said that; “The judgment is of major importance not just for the claimants, but for all disabled people to have the right to live with dignity.

Disability Wales are delighted that the UK Government is now reconsidering the future of the ILF.

We believe that the initial decision to close the Fund to new applications was taken without adequate consultation either with existing recipients and their families or with representative organisations of disabled people and the wider disability sector.

Because of this, DW finds it difficult to accept that there is any motivation behind these proposals other than to cut welfare expenditure on the back of the public bailout of irresponsible banking institutions.

In seeking to abolish the ILF the Coalition Government is targeting disabled people whose eligibility for access to the Fund provides clear evidence that they have the highest levels of support needs.

Disability Wales has engaged collaboratively with the Welsh Government and other partners to develop an approach to administer ILF to around 2,000 recipients in Wales, post 2015. We eagerly await the DWP’s response to this latest development”.

Article by Sarah Lawrnce

posted in Community / Help & Advice

11th November 2013