Disability groups unhappy at end of ILF fund
14 Dec 2010
Disability groups reacted with dismay yesterday to confirmation the Government is axing a fund that gave more than £60 million to help people live on their own.
The Independent Living Fund supports thousands of people in Scotland to help them live independently in the community.
As The Herald had predicted in September, the Government announced yesterday that the fund would remain closed to new applicants – as it has been since earlier this year – with existing claimants protected only until the end of the current parliament.
After that, funds will be transferred to local authorities, with consultations in the New Year to determine how the money is used.
Ian Hood, co-ordinator of the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland, said: “This confirms our worst fears. We have already seen some of the most vulnerable people having their planned levels of service reduced.
“Now it looks like the fund is going to be wrapped up for good.”
While existing claimants would be protected, that would be for four years at best, said Mr Hood.
Richard Hamer, director of external affairs at Capability Scotland said 3654 people benefited from ILF in this country.
He said: “ Given the economic climate it is likely local authorities will be hard-pressed to meet these costs, putting independent living in jeopardy.”