The Independent Living Funds will be absorbed into individual budgets for severely disabled people, disability minister Anne McGuire said this week.
McGuire said the government had accepted the key recommendation of a review into the future of the funds
Since 1988, Independent Living Funds have provided cash payments for severely disabled people, similar to direct payments.
But the recommendation, from academics Bob Hudson and Melanie Henwood, has proved controversial with user-led groups such as Radar and the National Centre for Independent Living, which claim the ILFs’ independence from councils has been key to promoting independent living.
While welcoming the move, Hudson and Henwood regretted the government¹s decision to reject extending the Independent Living Funds to older people, rather than just those of working age as at present.
They said: “It is regrettable that the minister has not accepted our proposal to extend the ILF to older people to older people, but understandable that this cannot be resolved ahead of the next comprehensive spending review.”
Anne McGuire said proposals on integrating the ILFs into individual budgets will be published once lessons had been learned from the 13 individual budget pilots.