Barbara has called on the Government to ensure that disabled people continue to be provided with the support they need to live an independent life. This follows a court ruling about the Government’s planned closure of the Independent Living Fund.
The Independent Living Fund helps to fund care for people with severe disabilities so that they can live independently. The Conservative-led Government has decided to close the fund from June 2015. The decision was challenged by a number of disabled people but the High Court has ruled that the Government’s decision to close the fund is legal. This means that funding will now be transferred to local authorities. However, the fund does not have to be spent providing care for disabled people unless the local authority decides to do so.
In Salford around 70 people rely on the fund to help maintain their independence, and there are 18,000 users of the Independent Living Fund across the country.
“I am saddened by the High Court’s decision to allow the Conservative-led Government to close the Independent Living Fund. The Government’s actions could place vulnerable people in an extremely difficult situation. I do not want to see it become difficult for disabled people in Salford to live independently and to do many things that other people take for granted.
I am concerned by the lack of guidance from the Government about how needs will be met for users of the Independent Living Fund when central funding is no longer available. The Conservative-led Government must act immediately to ensure that councils across the country are required to ring fence this funding so they can provide fund users with adequate support.
The Government must outline its plans to protect the independence of disabled people in Salford and across the country.”