20,000 signatures reached
To: David Cameron
Defend disabled people's right to independent living
Over-turn the decision to close the Independent Living Fund which was taken without a vote in Parliament.
Why is this important?
The new Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson MP says the most important part of his job is to offer "disabled people the same opportunities to reach their goals as non-disabled people." Yet on 30 June the government will close the Independent Living Fund (ILF) which provides essential support to disabled people with the highest support needs to live in the community amongst friends and family.
The closure of the ILF means that the 17,500 disabled people who are currently able to employ assistants to help with everyday tasks from getting out of bed to going to work, will instead be forced into care homes or effectively imprisoned in their own homes. Last year, a high court ruling about the decision to close the fund referred to "the inevitable and considerable adverse effect" this would have on disabled people and how "independent living might well be put seriously in peril for... most (or a substantial number of) ILF users."
This is because the government will give responsibility for the fund to cash strapped local authorities which will not be able to cope as they are already suffering huge cuts of 26% to social care funding with a further £10 billion cuts in the pipeline. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services has said it cannot take any further pressure and disability experts agree that the future looks bleak for disabled people.
The governments of Scotland and Northern Ireland have committed to create their own versions of the ILF, and the Welsh government has said it will put money aside to help recipients for 9 months. This leaves people currently receiving the ILF in England unprotected.
Sometimes it's hard to know what the right thing is. This is not one of those times.
Please sign the petition now and tell Prime Minister David Cameron and his new minister Justin Tomlinson MP to keep the Independent Living Fund open, or at least ring fence the money at local authority level.
Remind them that the UK is better than this.