Independent Living Fund: consultation responses
Responses regarding the future use of resources devolved following the UK Government’s decision to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF).
Summary of Findings
11. A total of 110 responses were received in response to the Consultation. These responses included those from individuals (including disabled people, ILF users and carers), collective responses from individuals attending disability organisation led consultation events, disability/user led organisations, voluntary sector and advocacy organisations, and local authorities and their representatives.
12. The majority of responses welcomed the Scottish Government's intention to protect and preserve existing packages of support for ILF users, upon closure of the UK scheme. Respondents identified the importance of the values and principles that underpin the existing ILF in supporting independent living and agreed that these should form the foundation of any successor arrangement.
13. However, many respondents highlighted the inequities of take-up of the existing ILF scheme, which had closed to new applications in 2010. Local authority respondents, in particular, emphasised the significant geographical inequities, and other inequalities embedded in the previous ILF approach due to its eligibility criteria (e.g. exclusion of older people).
14. In relation to money that becomes available in the future when existing ILF users no longer need it, respondents almost universally proposed that this is used to meet new demand, many stating that this should be targeted in the same way as the current ILF. Local authorities, however, proposed that these funds should be integrated with social care budgets and used to fund provision via Self-directed Support. Respondents also proposed many varied suggestions of ways to target newly available funds, however there was no emerging consensus.
15. Respondents accepted the challenges to the existing ILF model of sustainability. Many of these, particularly individuals and disabled people's organisations, called for new resources to be found to meet new demand. Respondents did however highlight the importance of targeting resource to those individuals with the highest level of need.
16. Opinion diverged significantly on the model for delivering the legacy arrangements. Of the four options outlined, the majority of responses supported one of two options: Option 1 (local authority model of delivery), which was favoured by local authority respondents; and Option 4 (a new partnership or trust), which was favoured by individual respondents, disabled people's organisations and voluntary sector organisations.
17. Local authority respondents proposed that as the deliverers of social care, Option 1 was the only viable option for delivery. They argued that by managing direct payments, they already had much of the infrastructure in place; and that this would both be cost-effective and lead to streamlining and alignment of service.
18. In contrast, the individual respondents and non-local authority organisations who replied, did so to state their strong opposition to devolving responsibility for ILF to local authorities. Option 4 was supported by the vast majority of these respondents. They argued the case for a national third sector led approach, and additionally proposed that a separate body would safeguard against cuts to ILF packages of support.
19. In relation to Equality Impact Assessment for the future development of a sustainable Fund, amongst the issues that respondents highlighted were the inequities of the existing ILF scheme; the value and importance of protecting and preserving existing access to the fund; and the importance of extending access to others, who do not currently receive ILF.
Email: Caroline Martin, CarolineMaria.Martin@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
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