Independent Age response to the Ministerial Statement on the closure of the Independent Living Fund

Independent Age Chief Executive, Janet Morrison, said,

"The news that the Independent Living Fund (ILF) will be closing in June 2015 comes as a new blow for the 18,000 disabled adults who depend on the support the Fund provides to lead fulfilling lives. Today’s announcement from the Department for Work and Pensions follows a series of announcements about the future of the Fund in 2013, all of which served to confuse recipients and in many cases caused stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, today’s Ministerial statement is likely to add to that sense of anxiety.

"For older people who still look to the ILF to help arrange individually tailored care, the promise that equivalent amounts of support will be available from their council seems barely credible on the day we have learnt there has been a catastrophic fall in the numbers getting council-funded care. Between 2010/11 to 2013/14 public funding for older people’s social care decreased by 10 per cent in real terms. The ILF was a beacon of hope for many severely disabled people. It was designed to provide extra help, to meet a wide range of adults’ care needs and not just help with personal care.

"While we hope the Care Bill will truly transform our care system and promote individual wellbeing, the reality today is that too few councils can adequately support adults to get out and about and play a full part in community life. Unless the promise of the Care Bill is realised, we worry that many of the 18,000 recipients only have a future of 15-minute care visits and higher charges to look forward to – if that is, the Minister is right, and ILF recipients continue to qualify for council-funded care."

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