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Money down the pothole: ILF announcement is blow for disabled Scots

18 December 2012

Capability Scotland fears money that should be used for disabled people's support and care could be used to fill potholes and keep libraries open, following an announcement by Westminster today (18th December).

The disability charity was reacting to the Department of Work and Pensions' (DWP) response to the Consultation on the Future of the Independent Living Fund (ILF).

ILF is currently paid out by the UK Government to support disabled people with a high level of need to live independently.  The Fund was closed to new applicants in 2010 and the UK Government is now planning to wind it down completely by 2015.

Today the DWP announced that in England the money currently used for ILF would now be shared out amongst the local authorities with a relevant share going to devolved administrations. In Scotland it's likely that, under the Concordat, this money would be shared out amongst local authorities.

This decision will be a blow for many disabled people and disability organisations who have repeatedly told the UK Government throughout the consultation process that they don't want this vital funding to be simply handed over to local authorities. They fear if this happens the money will inevitably be swallowed up meeting general local authority costs.

Capability Scotland, Director of External Affairs, Richard Hamer, said: "Having given a clear message to the Westminster Government that the Independent Living Fund (ILF) should not be handed over to local authorities, disabled people, carers and disability organisations will no doubt feel betrayed by today's announcement. The responsibility is now on the Scottish Government to listen to disabled people and those that support them and ensure that their views are acted upon when it comes to distributing the ILF monies in Scotland."



wheelchair users doing the laundry

ILF supports disabled people to live independently