Independent Living Fund is to be abolished


by Rumbold
15th December, 2010 at 9:51 am    

The government is planning to abolish the Independent Living Fund by 2015. The fund, which spends £398 million helping 21,000 severely disabled people fund carers has been closed for new claimants and will vanish entirely in 2015. The government claims that local authorities will still have to provide care for the people who have lost out, but there is several problems with this approach.

At present, the Independent Living Fund is used to provide carers to the severely disabled in their homes, at a cost of around £300 a week per person. This is so they can remain in their own homes rather than having to go into care homes. If the Independent Living Fund is abolished then it is more likely that the severely disabled will have to go into care homes. However dedicated the care staff are in a care home, the majority of people will always be better off living in their home and thus will be happier. On the cost side too, it is unclear whether the fund will produce a saving, as the costs of running a care home are high.

I think that the state should focus on helping the weakest and most vulnerable in society. It should help them, if possible, in a way that most suits them, which the Independent Living Fund does, but paying for their care without them having to sacrifice their surroundings and independence. It is wrong that a state can find millions to spend on researching happiness, or hiring ‘Senior Media Officers’ for Sport England while reducing support for the most vulnerable in society. While it is true that cuts need to be made thanks to Labour’s destruction of the public finances, the cuts should hit where the state is at its most bloated and unnecessary, rather than at key areas like this.


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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Independent Living Fund is be abolished http://bit.ly/f0QfdD


  2. Kate B

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Independent Living Fund is be abolished http://bit.ly/f0QfdD >>bloody shocking. Ppl will be charged.


  3. the vacuum cleaner

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  4. safefromwolves

    "@hangbitch RT @sunny_hundal Blogged: Independent Living Fund is be abolished http://bit.ly/f0QfdD > bloody shocking. Ppl will be charged"


  5. Graham Williamson

    Small gov't! Coalition makes it harder for disabled people to live independently w/out entering local authority care: http://bit.ly/f0QfdD


  6. Jonathan Bartley

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  7. BendyGirl

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  8. Jessica Bateman

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  9. Hannah M

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  12. Dale Quigley

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  13. Loraine

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  14. CSC

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  15. Richard Cardall

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  16. Ira

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  17. Louise Sheridan

    RT @sunny_hundal: Independent Living Fund is to be abolished http://bit.ly/f0QfdD #disabled #UKUncut #wearenotallinittogether


  18. dean raybourne

    RT @Louise243: RT @sunny_hundal: Independent Living Fund is to be abolished http://bit.ly/f0QfdD #disabled #UKUncut #wearenotallinittogether




  1. Sofia — on 15th December, 2010 at 10:12 am  

    When are people going to wake up to the fact that this is no coalition, it’s a tory government with tory policies that they dreamt up over their cucumber sarnies

  2. sarah — on 15th December, 2010 at 10:40 am  

    Thanks for this post, Rumbold.

  3. MaidMarian — on 15th December, 2010 at 11:34 am  

    Rumbold –

    ‘While it is true that cuts need to be made thanks to Labour’s destruction of the public finances.’

    So nothing to do with that global banking meltdown then? That Gordon Brown probably did a reasonable job in handling given that cash-machines were not far away from being locked.

    ‘On the cost side too, it is unclear whether the fund will produce a saving, as the costs of running a care home are high.’

    It’s also unclear whether the proposed changes to HE funding will produce a saving, but you backed that to the hilt. Granted, you support this Coalition and therefore hate the young but even so, this is crass.

    By the way, is there some reason that Browne’s arguments don’t apply in this case? Or is it just that you have a chip on your shoulder about HE and 17 year olds?

    ‘I think that the state should focus on helping the weakest and most vulnerable in society.’

    Well, yes – I like motherhood and apple pie too. Regarding Sport England, it would help if the Coalition wasn’t slashing sport facilities via cuts to local government. Unless you think that there is no value at all in organised sport?

  4. MaidMarian — on 15th December, 2010 at 11:42 am  

    Sorry Rumbold – should also have mentioned.

    Why can’t the Big Society fill the role left by the ILF? Us all being libertarians now.

  5. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2010 at 11:49 am  

    Rumbold,

    This OP is, inter alia, why I think even nutty libertarians aren’t that nutty at all.

    Well said.

    the cuts should hit where the state is at its most bloated and unnecessary, rather than at key areas like this.

    Perhaps your target is too narrow? Perhaps we should be hitting out at rich bastards too?

    Love you lots.

    Your sometimes anarchist chum.

  6. MaidMarian — on 15th December, 2010 at 11:53 am  

    douglas clark – But I think you misunderstand. By the logic of this Coalition, the ILF is not a, ‘key area.’ By Rumbold’s own article there are other, cheaper ways – care-homes. I make no value judgment on the merits or not of that. By the logic set out in (for instance) the Browne review the ILF is not a, ‘key area.’

  7. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2010 at 12:03 pm  

    MaidMarian,

    I have only read what Rumbold had to say. I know not the arguments against what he has to say. I think he is right, on the first principle basis that the state always fucks up.

    By the logic of this Coalition, the ILF is not a, ‘key area.’

    It seems to me that the right to attempt to live independently is something even you would support?

  8. Rumbold — on 15th December, 2010 at 12:06 pm  

    MaidMarian:

    The global financial crisis, on Gordon Brown’s watch, did significantly increase the deficit, but it was tens of billions a year beforehand, plus tens of billions more through dodgy PFI deals and the failure to reform pensions.

    The HE reforms are different as they shifted the burden of paying for a carer-enhancing qualification onto the main beneficiaries. Leaving that aside, students studying economics aren’t amongst the weakest in society- the severely disabled are though.

    Well, yes – I like motherhood and apple pie too. Regarding Sport England, it would help if the Coalition wasn’t slashing sport facilities via cuts to local government. Unless you think that there is no value at all in organised sport?

    What does a ‘senior media officer’ have to do with sport when there isn’t enough money for things like swimming pools? Do you think this is more worthwhile spending than the ILF?

    Yes, I do support the coalition. But that doesn’t mean I can’t disagree or criticise individual decisions.

  9. Rumbold — on 15th December, 2010 at 12:08 pm  

    Also, it is not clear that care homes will be cheaper. They will probably be more expensive.

  10. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2010 at 12:24 pm  

    Rumbold,

    They will probably be more expensive.

    Almost definitely. My tiny area of expertise is in homes for the elderly. They are incredibly expensive institutions to run properly. The emphasis is on properly.

    I’d quite like Maid Marian to understand that. Though I suspect she will not. It is convenient to lie through your teeth about stuff. Makes waves.

  11. MaidMarian — on 15th December, 2010 at 12:28 pm  

    douglas clark –

    ‘It seems to me that the right to attempt to live independently is something even you would support?’

    I would happily support it. I’m not a Coalition Minister though.

    Rumbold –

    ‘The global financial crisis, on Gordon Brown’s watch, did significantly increase the deficit, but it was tens of billions a year beforehand, plus tens of billions more through dodgy PFI deals and the failure to reform pensions.’

    So you got carried away in the article, yes?

    ‘The HE reforms are different as they shifted the burden of paying for a carer-enhancing qualification onto the main beneficiaries. Leaving that aside, students studying economics aren’t amongst the weakest in society- the severely disabled are though.’

    Yes, but Rumbold, the principle of Brown was beneficiary bears the burden. My argument on your snide, hateful article on the subject, which you airily dismissed was that this logic could be applied to any area of public spending. The Coalition are not withdrawing all support for the disabled, they are ‘rebalancing’ it, as I understand your article. This is Coalition ideology writ large.

    ‘What does a ‘senior media officer’ have to do with sport when there isn’t enough money for things like swimming pools? Do you think this is more worthwhile spending than the ILF?’

    No I don’t think it is more worthwhile, but clearly there is enough media interest. Swimming Pools, by the way are being cut to the bone.

    ‘Yes, I do support the coalition. But that doesn’t mean I can’t disagree or criticise individual decisions.’

    Ah, so support for those you like, vitriol for those you don’t. You are Nick Clegg and I claim my £5.

  12. MaidMarian — on 15th December, 2010 at 12:30 pm  

    douglas clark –

    ‘Almost definitely. My tiny area of expertise is in homes for the elderly. They are incredibly expensive institutions to run properly. The emphasis is on properly.’

    Yes agreed. If you read what I said, rather than knee-jerk reacted you will have seen that the point I was making was that these arguments could apply to almost any public spend. Hence I specifically said that I make no value judgment on whether this will save money or not.

    ‘I’d quite like Maid Marian to understand that. Though I suspect she will not. It is convenient to lie through your teeth about stuff. Makes waves.’

    Calling people who don’t agree with you liars. Classy. And I’m male.

  13. Shamit — on 15th December, 2010 at 12:39 pm  

    This year the UK plc is going to spend £349 Billion more than it earns – so we would be borrowing these extra funds. Is this sustainable? The answer is No.

    There are three ways for the government to bridge this gap:

    1) Raise taxation

    2) Cut Spending

    On taxation:

    Poll after poll shows that a majority of people in this country support raising taxes for the “rich” – however, raising the taxation burden on the top 1% of the population is not going to do much. Simply because that 1% have the resources to go and live somewhere else where their individual tax burden is less.

    Further these poll numbers are soft because people only support higher taxation only when it does not affect them personally.

    Cutting spending

    Cutting spending is not easy – as it affects real lives and people are happy to cut spending in areas which does not affect them.

    In a country where credit card debts for young people are higher than most other developed nations, middle class kids (many of whom went to private schools) are demonstrating against rise in tuition fees – even though higher education remains free at the point of delivery.

    People also want more powers to communities yet they want ring fenced funding for projects such as Sure Start, Youth crime etc etc –

    I am writing this not to argue for or against this particular article but just to highlight the challenges of any policy maker especially when you have a populist opposition which would support anything that is against the government.

    One might argue why not let the debt bloat – well, spain, ireland, portugal shows what could happen – even the US (the world’s most powerful economy) is worried about its debts.

    Many on the left suggest why not default on the debt – well no one would be willing to lend us money. So why not print more money some suggest – aside from the inflationary pressure that creates it also widens the gap between the rich and the poor.

    It so easy to say Labour would have been better – maybe in the short term – but Alastair Darling was prepared to make bigger cuts than Thatcher – and if he did not the long time prospects of the country would have been doomed.

    Keynsian theory is not going to work irrespective of what Krugman and others say and for those who believe that developed economies are doomed, we published an article from Accenture yesterday – have a read here:

    http://www.egovmonitor.com/node/39883

    It is not all doom and gloom – but if we do not manage our finances better – people would simply not lend us money to keep us going.

  14. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2010 at 12:40 pm  

    Maid Marian @ 11,

    would happily support it. I’m not a Coalition Minister though.

    Oh, you are having a laugh then. How witty are you?

    Do you have the faintest idea what it costs to staff an old folks home 24/7?

    I do.

    Lest we forget, most old folk die alone in their own homes, nor in intensive care, nor homes for the elderly or any of that stuff. The reality is that we die at home. And supporting folk in their right to die with dignity is what this shower of Etonian arseholes are not about.

    Fuck them and fuck you too, Maid Marian.

  15. boyo — on 15th December, 2010 at 12:45 pm  

    “I think that the state should focus on helping the weakest and most vulnerable in society”

    When will you wake up to the fact Rumbold, that hitting the vulnerable is what the Lib Cons do?

    “While it is true that cuts need to be made thanks to Labour’s destruction of the public finances”

    Is the idea to keep repeating it until it comes true? The banks had nothing to do with it? It is moments like this that my “virtual” affection for you transcends in to nausea. Sorry.

  16. Sofia — on 15th December, 2010 at 12:51 pm  

    Where did we find the £7 billion to bail out the Irish?

  17. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2010 at 1:03 pm  

    boyo @ 15,

    What makes you think Rumbold is unaware of that?

    For all I might disagree with him on ‘politics’ I have never thought he was unaware. Indeed, despite ferocious disagreements, I still see him as a friend. And I always will.

    You, on the other hand, say this:

    It is moments like this that my “virtual” affection for you transcends in to nausea. Sorry.

    Fuck off.

  18. Shamit — on 15th December, 2010 at 1:11 pm  

    “Where did we find the £7 billion to bail out the Irish?”

    The government pledged that amount even though its not been drawn down. The reason we did that is because our banks are exposed in the Irish debt crisis. Our banks, especially taxpayer owned banks such as RBS, are exposed to the tune of £140 Billion – and if irish default on their debts which was a clear possibility – then our banking system would be at risk.

    And the money you have in the bank would be at risk – or the taxpayer would have to fund another bailout by borrowing money or by printing money. I would rather spend £7 Billion rather than add on to the £850 Billion the taxpayers have put into the banking system.

    Failing to regulate was the biggest failure of the troika of Gordon Brown, Ed Balls and Ed Miliband – and so when they talk anything about economics and finance – I just laugh.

  19. Shamit — on 15th December, 2010 at 1:14 pm  

    This idiotic phrase about ideological cuts is getting to me now – what do mean by ideological cuts and also what could have been done differently?

    Using phrases like Miliband oh he does not get it because he is a Tory does not even make good headlines nowadays. What is the alternative?

  20. MaidMarian — on 15th December, 2010 at 1:15 pm  

    Shamit – That Accenture article you put up is interesting. Do you know when the second part of that will go up?

    The more interesting question is what will happen when China falls, but I suspect (as has often happened in history) that Europe is stronger than it looks.

  21. MaidMarian — on 15th December, 2010 at 1:17 pm  

    Shamit – ‘This idiotic phrase about ideological cuts is getting to me now – what do mean by ideological cuts and also what could have been done differently?’

    I don’t know, perhaps an example. At the CSR, the elderly got a gold-plated earning link on the pension, an enhanced and extended winter fuel payment, free eye-tests and prescriptions, a free bus pass, a free TV license and a christmas bonus payment.

    The young got privatised universities, house-building to be determined by BANANAs and the abolition of all support for young families.

    Ideological, who knows? But it looks like it.

  22. Shamit — on 15th December, 2010 at 1:21 pm  

    maidmarian –

    We hope to publish it next Monday – and I would post the link on this thread.

    I am completely with you on China’s bubble – and the socio-economic problems it is facing internally as well as the competition it is facing from other countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan etc. Also, most of the Chinese companies are massively supported with government subsidies and loans – but the Chinese central Bank is trying to rein in money supply as inflation is hitting the roof increasing the gap between rich and poor.

    A lot of people love the beijing consensus and that China would dominate the world – I disagree – I heard that about Japan in the 80s and early 90s because of the close relationship between banks, government, and business – same thing is happening in China as well now.

  23. Wibble — on 15th December, 2010 at 1:25 pm  

    “Failing to regulate was the biggest failure of the troika of Gordon Brown, Ed Balls and Ed Miliband – and so when they talk anything about economics and finance – I just laugh.”

    Do you have an excuse for Blair then and another one for the “principled” (as opposed to “populist”) Opposition of the time? Of course, Cameron / Hague / Howard all would’ve regulated.

  24. Sofia — on 15th December, 2010 at 1:26 pm  

    So the taxpayer continues to bail out private banks because politicians failed( or did not want to do) their jobs, and it’s the public sector that is called into account

  25. Sofia — on 15th December, 2010 at 1:27 pm  

    I’d like your thoughts on NHS reform, DLA and housing white papers too

  26. MaidMarian — on 15th December, 2010 at 1:39 pm  

    Shamit – thanks, I would be interested in that.

    With regard to China, it’s refusal to value its currency at anything like a realistic level (30% undervalued on most counts, possibly more) is a real problem. China has a housing bubble on a massive scale and it will be interesting to see how the Chinese handle this problem. What China has done is export deflation, but it has come at the cost of enormous inequality in the country.

  27. Rumbold — on 15th December, 2010 at 1:58 pm  

    MaidMarian:

    I too thought the pension reforms after the CSR far too generous.

    You argue that I am inconsistent in my views towards government spending. I feel not. I see government spending in four senses: necessary, desirable, unnecessary or wasteful. For me the ILF falls into the first category, and even if the government pays for care homes, it is still robbing people on their independence and in some cases their dignity. I cannot see a parallel between losing the ability to live in your own home and having to pay back your degree costs if you make a lot of money as a result.

    For both you and Boyo, I would repeat Shamit’s points at #13. Where should the money come from?

    Boyo:

    I think that the banks significantly increased the deficit, as I said earlier in the comments. But we were running a deficit of tens of billions before then, not to be all the off-balance PFI deals.

  28. MaidMarian — on 15th December, 2010 at 2:17 pm  

    Rumbold – ‘even if the government pays for care homes, it is still robbing people on their independence and in some cases their dignity.’

    Should the taxpayer fund ‘dignity’ or living in a certain place? I don’t know (I would not apply this rationale to Housing Benefit), but Rumbold, this is simply not what your article said.

    ‘The government claims that local authorities will still have to provide care for the people who have lost out’

    This is exactly what Browne did to HE – he rebalanced funding. Why is this an affront to the disabled, but not students?

    Presumably you think that aspirational 17 year olds are worthless and the disabled are ‘deserving.’ Fair enough. Just next time don’t tell me that the toxic ideology peddled by this vile Coalition puts us all in it together.

  29. Rumbold — on 15th December, 2010 at 2:39 pm  

    MaidMarian:

    When have I ever used phrases like ‘all in this together’ or the ‘Big Soicety’?

    The taxpayer (i.e. myself and others) should pay for the severley disabled fto retain home care. I don’t think seventeen year olds as worthless, I just think that the principle beneficaries of such qualifications should fund them, if they make lots of money.

    Do you think the ILF should continue?

  30. MaidMarian — on 15th December, 2010 at 2:48 pm  

    ‘I just think that the principle beneficaries of such qualifications should fund them, if they make lots of money.’

    I agree, hence I pay income tax. Can you also explain why (from your previous article) the man getting the benefit of the care worker should have his care subsidised, as I don’t benefit.

    Do you think that house-price inflation should have been taxed? And if so what would you libertarian mates think?

    ‘Do you think the ILF should continue?’

    Yes.

  31. anon — on 15th December, 2010 at 3:13 pm  

    New Labour closed ILF to new claimants in May people were obviously too busy to complain then.

  32. Rumbold — on 15th December, 2010 at 3:25 pm  

    MaidMarian:

    I am sorry I am not explaining myself well enough. I think the government should provide money to ensure that people in such a situation have basic dignity by living at home. I don’t see how students gaining career-enhancing qualifications can be viewed as the same as someone being able to stay so they can be fed through a tube. I really don’t know how to explain it any other way.

    House price inflation is taxed in part through capital gains tax (i.e. if the gains are realised).

  33. Rumbold — on 15th December, 2010 at 3:28 pm  

    MaidMarian:

    I am sorry I am not explaining myself well enough. I think the government should provide money to ensure that people in such a situation have basic dignity by living at home. I don’t see how students gaining career-enhancing qualifications can be viewed as the same as someone being able to stay so they can be fed through a tube. I really don’t know how to explain it any other way.

    House price inflation is taxed in part through capital gains tax (i.e. if the gains are realised).

  34. boyo — on 15th December, 2010 at 4:52 pm  

    Rumbold, in 1997 welfare spending as percentage of GDP was 7.76% , in 2010 (despite a recession and higher unemployment) it is 7.26% – lower than in any year 1979 to 1997.

    http://duncanseconomicblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/welfare-spending-some-facts/

    The deficit in a historical context

    http://boffyblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/uk-debt-facts.html

    The myth of the structural deficit

    http://www.investorschronicle.co.uk/Columnists/ChrisDillow/article/20100215/1b8f8020-1a1e-11df-b0bd-0015171400aa/The-myth-of-the-structural-deficit.jsp

    The difference between spending and tax revenue, according to the Treasury

    http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/i/budget_graph_3.jpg

  35. boyo — on 15th December, 2010 at 4:56 pm  

    I would add, if that doesn’t make it patently obvious, that you will see from the last graph spending and revenue moved upwards in parallel until the bankers greed pushed it off a cliff.

    The reason spending went up, incidentally, was to repair the Health Service, education, et al, which your Government appears keen to ruin again, thereby obliging any new Labour government to spend another 13 years repairing the damage.

  36. Rumbold — on 15th December, 2010 at 5:17 pm  

    Boyo:

    Yes, the deficit was higher during and just after the second world war, when we faced invasion and destruction by the Nazis. That is a pretty damning inditement of the Brown regime.

    We currently run a defecit of over £150 billion a year, with trillions of unfunded liabilities stored up. This against the backdrop of slowing productivey gains and an ageing population. That worries me.

    Sorry, I don’t get the reference to welfare spending. Does it relate to something I said?

  37. Sarah AB — on 15th December, 2010 at 6:05 pm  

    anon (31) – this article

    http://www.disabilitynow.org.uk/latest-news2/independent-living-fund-to-close

    claims that the coalition took the step you refer to in June. Perhaps the move *had* already been signalled or instigated in some way by Labour – anyone know?

    “Fears for the ILF’s future intensified In June when the coalition government announced that the fund would be closed to new applicants for the remainder of the financial year.”

  38. Sarah AB — on 15th December, 2010 at 6:19 pm  

    http://samedifference1.com/2010/06/23/independent-living-fund-closes-to-new-applications/

    This is perhaps an answer to my own question – is it in fact the case that the ILF simply ran out of money and was closed to new applications for that particular year? Nothing to do with either government, in other words?

  39. Kismet Hardy — on 16th December, 2010 at 3:48 pm  

    Single mothers, disabled, students, unemployed and immigrants are costing the nation billions. Kill the Shameless generation and we will ALL be rich. And all our drugs will be free:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12005824

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