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Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

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Hullabaloo


Thursday, February 28, 2013

 
Some in the UK think the severely disabled are no longer affordable

by digby

The United Kingdom has, as you know, doubled down on its austerity program telling the people recently that it will not be back to anything like normality until 2018 at least. What this means in practice is that they are slashing the hell out of their government support systems, those required for the severely disabled among them:

The [Independent Living Fund] was set up in 1988 as a standalone fund which people with severe disabilities could apply to for extra money to pay for added care and support. That additional funding made it possible for people to live independently in their homes, rather than in residential care. For some people, the ILF paid for entire care packages. For others, ILF money was used to top up council funding for care. Most of the people who appear in these videos require round-the-clock care which – unsurprisingly – comes with a price tag.

In 2010, the Independent Living Fund was closed to new applicants.

Then in 2012, the coalition government announced that it would “consult” on the future of the fund for the ILF’s 19,000 existing users. The upshot of this was, towards the end of last year, an extremely unpopular decision to close the fund and devolve it to local authorities.

“In terms of independent living, this is the single most regressive action that the Condems could have taken,” DPAC’s Linda Burnip emailed to say. Indeed.

The money will not be ringfenced. It will be left to already cash-strapped councils to fund care for people with the most complex – and expensive – needs. That makes the whole prospect a complete shambles. Councils can’t meet demand as it is. Many are tightening eligibility criteria for care and have been taken to court for trying to restrict services, or for capping the amounts that they spend on claimants. Last year, as an example, Worcesterchire county council came up with a so-called maximum expenditure policy – meaning that if paying for someone to live at home with carers cost more than residential care, the individual would have to make up the difference themselves, or go into residential care – the sort of idea which would, as Sophie Partridge says in the video below, take everyone back to a time when people were hidden away in homes and made to sit around in incontinence pads.
So, what's the better answer? Well, some people have an idea:
A CORNWALL councillor has apologised but refused to resign after telling a disability charity that all disabled children “should be put down”.

Collin Brewer, independent councillor Wadebridge East, made the comments to Disability Cornwall at County Hall when the group had an information stand at an event to allow councillors to meet equalities organisations and understand some of the issues they face.

At the event, which took place in October 2011, Mr Brewer approached the stand and was told how the group helps parents of children with special educational needs.

He responded by saying: “Disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down.

It reminds me of the cheering Republicans at the presidential primary debate who endorsed the idea that people should just die if they don't have insurance. It would seem that certain common moral values of western civilization have become quite old fashioned in the age of austerity.

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