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19 December 2012
Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of disability charity Scope, responded to an announcement made by the Government on its consultation about the Independent Living Fund (ILF).
"Disabled people are extremely concerned about the Government's decision to close the ILF.
"For many disabled people, it is only this support that prevents them from having to give up their independence and their homes and moving into a residential care home.
"The Government's expectation that the support these disabled people need will be provided through local council social care packages could not be further from the truth.
"We know that local councils are already struggling to keep up with demand for social care and that many have had to restrict support as a result of budget cuts.
"This raises important questions about whether the local council safety net the Government refers to even exists.
"Today's announcement will just add even more pressures to an already struggling social care system.
"The Government has delayed and sent mixed messages about its plans for social care reform and has still not yet clarified how it plans to solve the growing funding crisis in the long term.
"Disabled people desperately need clarity on how this vital support will be available to them wherever they live."