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Video from outside courts March 13th thanks to Shaun
Reel News http://reelnews.co.uk
Firstly – well done us ! Great turn out on Wednesday and despite a new Pope
(!) we got some media coverage which I think we can definitely build on.
Key points from court case:
Regardless of whether we win or not (ruling likely end of April and I think
we have a very good chance) some potentially explosive stuff came out from
internal dwp documents that are now in the public domain namely:
· The dwp think its unlikely that there will be any funding for ilf
users after 2016. It looks like they are thinking of a year’s – non ring
fenced – additional transition money for LA for 2015-16 (to sugar the pill
as the judge put it) but then nothing.
· There is an internal paper that says we have to keep up the narrative that this is about reform not
· The dwp estimate the cost of closure and transition to be £39
· The dwp barrister took an absolutely disgraceful line of defence
trying to say that the closure was not based on money but on desire for
equity between non ilf users and ilf users – ie ILF users have more so we
need to take that away so they are in the same situation as non ilf users.
Implications for our campaigning:
As I said regardless of the judges decision we need to use the dwp
documentation in our campaign from now on – its explosive evidence that
completely supports our position that this is a) about a cut and b) ilf
users will have their support cut with all the devastating consequences we
have been saying. These documents also reveal just how cynical the dwp have
been ie by admitting they need to pretend its about reform and not cuts.
The dwp ammo we will now have should help us really pile on the pressure
with Cllrs and MPs – both in substance of what’s been revealed ie likely no
funding post 2016 but also how the dwp have gone about this. Given this is a
cut targeted at 20,000 disabled people with highest support needs I think
this could be potentially extremely politically embarrassing – if we play it
I think we also have a real chance to re-start lobbying and campaigning with
Local Authorities: its clear now that the govt intention is to devolve
responsibility to LA’s but not any funding to meet these responsibilities .
Now this is in the open I think we could have a real chance of getting some
LA’s on our side – particularly Lab ones.
Finally, some ILF users have done a great job in getting SCOPE to finally come out in support. We need to continue to put pressure on them because another DWP internal paper mentioned in court said (to paraphrase) we got away with the closure to new applicants in 2010 and the major disability charities are not interested in defending ilf . This should shame them into coming out in support.
Despite how shocking the info revealed in court has been we need to take
heart that we are right: right to campaign to save the ilf and right that
this is about cuts and nothing else.
So we need to start planning our campaign with this new info so we are ready
for decision at end of April.