- August 13, 2015
- Posted by: Carwyn Jones AM
- Category: Gazette Column
I know that some of my constituents were left feeling extremely anxious when the UK Government closed the Independent Living Fund (ILF) at the end of June 2015. The ILF provided payments to disabled people in Wales to pay for a range of care and support, including help with eating and drinking; cooking and preparing food and drink; assistance with dressing; cleaning, laundry and other domestic duties.
I am delighted that here in Wales, we have given not just my constituents, but the people of Wales, a lifeline. The Welsh Government has set up the Welsh Independent Living Grant, a new £20m fund to support disabled people with significant care needs, that will ensure that those who received ILF payments will continue to receive their current level of funding. The new grant scheme will be delivered by local authorities and will run until the end of March 2017. Those who were receiving ILF funding, will receive direct payments from local authorities to help meet the cost of the care and support they need. Funding of £20.4m has been ring-fenced for the scheme for July 2015 to the end of March 2016, which is based on the number of people receiving ILF when the scheme closed. Funding for the remainder of the grant scheme covering 2016-17 and for future years, is subject to the next spending review.
The decision to introduce a new made in Wales scheme follows a comprehensive two month consultation that was undertaken by the Welsh Government in October 2014.