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
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."