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That this House is deeply concerned by the Government's announcement to close by June 2015 the Independent Living Fund (ILF), on which over 18,000 disabled people with high support needs rely to live independently in the community; questions the decision to give local authorities (LAs) responsibility for this funding without ring fencing when LAs have already cut spending by £1.9 billion on adult services through efficiencies and service reduction between 2011 and 2013, and the Department of Health has shown that demand for adult social services has outstripped funding as expenditure fell nine per cent behind demand over the last four years; notes that experts believe financial pressure and loss of experienced ILF staff will mean current recipients will be placed in residential care or left at home without adequate care provision; highlights the inadequate Government equality assessment which, for example, cites the range of Disabled Student Allowances (DSAs) available to ameliorate the impact of withdrawing ILF on students, despite DSAs also being cut and being an incomparable allowance with a different use; therefore considers the numerous and significant cuts to disabled benefits mean a cumulative impact assessment of cuts on disabled people is a prerequisite to any decision about the ILF; is reminded that in 2013 the Court of Appeal found the Government's decision to close the ILF in March 2015 breached equality duties; and urges the Government to respect its obligations under the UN Convention of the Rights of Disabled Persons by maintaining the ILF and reopening applications.
Total number of signatures: 58
Showing 58 out of 58