Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Disabled lobby to defend ILF

Caroline Lucas, centre, at the protest
By New Worker correspondent

THE CAMPAIGN group Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) organised a lobby of Parliament on Tuesday to defend the Independent Living Fund (ILF), which gives regular money to disabled people to enable them to live an independent life outside of institutionalised care.
The Government plans to abolish this benefit as from next June and to replace it with a personal allowance administered by local authorities.
But the funding for this local care is much reduced and it has not been ring-fenced. Local authorities under pressure in all directions may not pass all of their allotment on to those who are about to lose ILF.
And there will be big time gaps between the disappearance of IFL and the personal assessment process that claimants will have to pass through to get their “personal Independence Payments” (PIP) so many will be left seriously out of pocket for a long time.
Caroline Lucas, MP for the Green Party, was present at the start of the lobby outside Parliament on Tuesday.
After assembling the protesters, many in wheelchairs, marched up Whitehall to hand in a protest letter at Number Ten Downing Street – but no one from that address came out to meet them.
The protesters then blocked traffic in Whitehall, using the wheelchairs, before returning to Parliament to lobby their MPs and take part on a meeting inside the House of Commons.
Speakers included MPs Caroline Lucas, John McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn and Clive Efford.

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