As many readers will know, the government has formally and finally announced the closure of ILF and the transfer of its monies to local authorities. Many charities and activists are crying foul saying it is the end of independent living, saying users simply will be put in care homes without understanding the facts.
The fact the fund has no been accepting applications since before the last general election means that a so-called two tier system has already been created. It amazes me that when it comes to meeting the needs of working aged adults with high support needs, the councils are often portrayed as struggling charities rather than responsible organisations which need a kick in the backside to meet their legal duties. I believe that many council has the using ILF as an easy option and now they need to take responsibility.
What I do not understand that if the ILF monies is following the users as I believe will be the case, at the start of the transfer, users should see little difference unless charities and activists are suggesting and accepting that councils will be stealing money from users!
I think in the bigger picture ILF users will not be a priority and taking into account the likelihood of complains and protests from life long users and the costs of that, it may be years before many councils looks closely into the issue. It will be when the next government comes up with a new scheme to revamp social care and ILF users are normalised into that, that users may face cuts.
The issue now is to ensure the small print of the transition is futureproof as recognises the support needs of users as well as their care needs.
If you like what I say, have a look at my website at http://www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74