So we had a bit of a ruckus in the House of Commons yesterday, while trying to deliver this letter to the Speaker.
Just for once, it got noticed by the media, and there were several news interviews with people who are about to lose their ILF and supporting activists, which is a good thing.
But in each of the news bulletins the DWP response was – they are scaremongering and ILF user’s won’t lose out when the fund closes – rather like this quote from Justin Tomlinson, latest in a long line of inhuman Tory ministers against disabled people:
“Responsibility for providing this [ILF] support is, in fact, being transferred to local authorities. Far from being taken away, it will be administered in a way better able to take account of variations in local circumstances and services. “ http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/11/impact-of-changes-to-disability-benefits
We would just like to point out, its a lie.
The proof that its a lie will appear further down the page, but before that, we’d like to make this statement:-
Contrary to what some may think, we don’t think protesting is fun.
We don’t enjoy being roughed up by the cops, it hurts. And its bloody hard work.
We don’t do this for laughs.
But the fact is that disabled people have discovered from years of being shat on by powerful people that if we don’t fight for our rights no other bastard will even see us, let alone do anything for us (*) .
So if it were true that ILF users weren’t about to lose out, we wouldn’t have had to riot yesterday.
We wouldn’t even have been in the building.
We wouldn’t have had to campaign for more than 3 years. We wouldn’t have had to spend long hours fighting court cases. Twice. We wouldn’t have had to spend endless hours writing letters and emails. We wouldn’t have had to stand in front of bloody buses. We wouldn’t have had to occupy Westminster Abbey grounds.
If we had thought ILF users would have had equivalent care packages we wouldn’t have had to do any of that.
And that would have been fine by us.
But its a lie and we don’t believe the DWP for one instant.
Here is our proof of that the lie that ILF closure is just a transfer of funding to councils and ILF recipients will not lose out:
(1) Not all the money in the fund is being transferred – the amount is being cut by 5% min for ‘attrition’ the DWP’s cost analysis for percentage of those who die each year
(2) The money isn’t being ring-fenced, so the councils its being given to can spend on road cones or park maintenance if they wish – there is no guarantee of any sort that it will be spent on continuing packages for ex-ILF recipients
(3) The funding is being transferred for just ONE YEAR. After that – if any of the non ring-fenced money has made it through to support for disabled people, it will be gone.
(4) Individual Local Authorities don’t even know how much money they will get yet, 5 days before the fund closes – the handover is in chaos
(5) We already know of people who are having their support for independent living cut.
So are we Scaremongering?
We know the dreadful state of the social care system. We know that council funded carers frequently have 15 minutes to complete tasks, and there isn’t time in 15 minutes to assist a severely disabled person to use the toilet and wash and dress plus cook a hot meal.
So in 15 minutes its a choice between shitting and eating.
We know that councils are strapped for cash and many will do the bare minimum that the law requires.
We know that people currently receiving the ILF are likely to have to move into care homes because that’s where they were living before the ILF was available.
The ILF was one of the very few (only?) good things to come out of Thatcher’s government, because it allowed disabled people, who had been incarcerated in care homes, living no life at all, to move out into the world- and that was only because Thatcher cut another benefit that disabled people relied on.
They could be self sufficient, they could lead full lives, they could live independent lives. It was one of the big advances that happened to disabled people in the last century. It was world leading.
And its being shut down by Cameron’s government. Taking disabled people back decades.
And we know that disabled people who currently receive the ILF have said that they would rather die, or go to jail than live in a care home. Because we’ve heard them say it with our own ears.
In five days time, the Independent Living Fund Closes.
We don’t need to scaremonger – the fear that ILF users have isn’t of DPAC, the fear is of giving up on having a life and being forced into an existence.
The fear is of being kept alive, given just basic enough support to comply with the bare minimum that the law requires.
The fear is of being abused in a care home.
We don’t need to scaremonger. Not when we have the conservative party in power.
Read more here:
(*) apart from some very honourable exceptions of allies we have in parliament and elsewhere.
So if you agree with the DPAC view and not the DWP’s lies – please sign our petition here https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/defend-disabled-people-s-right-to-independent-living
And please read and send these tweets to in support of the #SaveILF Campaign.
Remember – ILF recipients have just 5 days left of the fund.
An Important Request on ILF from Mary Laver http://shar.es/BjyqK #SaveILF #ILF
What the Closure of the #ILF means to disabled people -Mary’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-mars-story-2/ #SaveILF #ILF
What the Closure of the #ILF means to disabled people – Justine’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-justines-story/ #SaveILF #ILF
What the Closure of the #ILF means to disabled people – John, Paul and Evonne’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-john-paul-and-evonnes-story/ #SaveILF #ILF
What the Closure of the #ILF means to disabled people – Roxy’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-oxys-story/ #SaveILF #ILF
What the Closure of the #ILF means to disabled people – Kathy’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-kathys-story/ #SaveILF #ILF
What the Closure of ILF means to disabled people – Richard’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-me-richards-story/ #SaveILF #ILF
What the Closure of ILF means to disabled people – Penny’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-me-pennys-story/ #SaveILF #ILF
What the Closure of ILF means to disabled people – Anthony and David’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-disabled-people-anthony-and-davids-story/ #SaveILF #ILF
What the Closure of ILF means to disabled people – Kevin’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-disabled-people-kevins-story/ #SaveILF #ILF
Second Closure of #ILF and our analysis of the equality analysis by DWP http://shar.es/Bm4hM #SaveILF #ILF
DPAC statement on government announcement on closure of the #ILF http://shar.es/BHRcl #SaveILF #ILF
How the closure of the ILF will affect lives https://dpac.uk.net/independent-living-fund/#sthash.dLgkwYIe.dpbs #SaveILF #ILF
What Local Authorities said about the Closure of ILF http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/02/what-local-authorities-said-about-the-closure-of-ilf/ #SaveILF #ILF
A Nasty Cut people affected by the closure of the #ILF http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/02/a-nasty-cut-people-affected-by-the-closure-of-the-independent-l5142/ #SaveILF #ILF
Second Closure of Independent Living Fund and our analysis of the equality analysis by DWP http://shar.es/BjygQ #SaveILF #ILF