Five disabled people lose challenge over scrapped scheme that gave them independence - Home News - UK - The Independent

Five disabled people lose challenge over scrapped scheme that gave them independence

The five are among 19,000 who receive money from the scheme, which the Government plans to scrap in 2015

A group of disabled people have pledged to fight on after the High Court ruled the Government's plan to close a benefit scheme allowing them to access funds to live independent lives can go ahead.

A judicial review into the replacement of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) with a scheme run by local authorities was launched after campaign groups argued that the Department for Work and Pensions had not carried out proper consultations on the matter.

The case had released internal government papers, seen by The Independent, showing that many of the 19,000 recipients would see their allowances reduced – raising the possibility some disabled people living in their own homes thanks to the ILF’s financial support may have to go into institutionalised care.

But Mr Justice Blake said that nothing had persuaded him the consultation had failed to be “candid and open”. He described the fund’s recipients as "a privileged group" as it had already been closed to new users in 2010.

The disabled claimants were refused permission to appeal, but their lawyers maintained they will nevertheless ask the Court of Appeal directly to hear the case again “on the basis that the judge’s conclusions did not reflect the evidence before the court”.

Their solicitors, Deighton Pierce Glynn and Scott-Moncrieff & Associates, said in a statement that the group “are adamant that the process was flawed and that the impact of closure will be devastating for very large numbers of severely-disabled people. They see it as vital that the decision is quashed and the matter reconsidered on a fair and lawful basis”.

They added: “The judgment fails to explain the judge’s reasons for reaching the conclusions he did or to set out the evidence he relied on to reach those conclusions. The judgment is therefore hard to follow. In relation to the consultation process, the judge specifically found that there was enough information for people to engage in the process in a meaningful way.

“He also decided that the information that had not been provided (about the costs and reasons for closing the ILF) did not make a significant enough difference to the consultation exercise to make it unlawful, though these would have been important issues for people to comment on.”

But a spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "How disabled people are supported to live independent lives has changed fundamentally over the past 20 years, including through the introduction of personal budgets.

"The ILF was closed to new users in 2010 and we are now devolving funding to local authorities to ensure the remaining users have their needs met in a single cohesive system. Nearly 1.6 million disabled people across the UK already receive support through local authority and devolved administrations' social care arrangements.

"The judge agreed the consultation had been carried out correctly and has refused permission for the claimants to appeal. If the Court of Appeal give permission to appeal DWP will defend such an appeal."

Tracey Lazard, chief executive of the campaign group Inclusion London which had backed the legal action, said: “This is a disappointing decision for disabled people. We welcome the news that the five claimants will be appealing to over-turn it. The Independent Living Fund plays a central role in upholding disabled people’s fundamental right to independent living and any proposals on its future must be carried out in a fair and transparent way.”

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Energy Markets Analyst

£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Nursery Manager

£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week