The Government has recently announced plans to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF) – which supplements the funding of independent living support for 19,000 of the most severely disabled people. Plans to transfer the money to Local Authorities, where it is viewed that the needs of older people are already putting services under increasing strain; says Jane Young of the Guardian, have been heavily criticised.
This combination of challenges to social care services is set to have a catastrophic effect on the ability of severely disabled people to fulfill their potential and use their talents to contribute personally and economically to society. There are many examples of severely disabled people whose care packages enable them to employ personal assistants of their choosing to maximise their independence, and their ability to participate and make a contribution. Local Authorities now require huge financial contributions from service users for the provision of basic packages.
Young says “Equality and independence are now being rolled back, with a major loss of talent to our society. Disabled people can’t be economically productive if the support that enables them to live independently is missing or unaffordable. We all lose from this situation – we will all gain when social care is properly funded and provided on an equal basis.”
Source: The Guardian
9th October 2012