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Welsh fund to support disabled people to live independently to continue

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

£27m is being made available to maintain support for more than 1,600 disabled people in Wales to live independently, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.
Friday 05 February 2016

The Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) was set up by the Welsh Government in July 2015, following a decision by the UK Government to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF).

The WILG support disabled people with significant care needs who used to receive payments from the ILF to meet the additional costs of living independently, which include help with eating and drinking; cooking and preparing food and drink; assistance with dressing; cleaning, laundry and other domestic duties.

Following the closure of the ILF, the Welsh Government put in place a ring-fenced, local authority-administered grant scheme – the WILG – to run until at least 31 March 2017. As part of this, £20.4m was provided to local authorities in 2015-16 to enable them to maintain payments to former ILF recipients at the level they used to receive.

The Minister for Health and Social Services has confirmed the Welsh Government’s draft budget for 2016-17 contains £27m to enable the WILG to continue until 31 March 2017 as planned.

Professor Drakeford said:

“The Welsh Independent Living Grant has worked well, with disabled people who previously received payments from the ILF receiving these from their local authority instead. I want to thank local authorities for the critical role they have played in making this a success.      

“I’m pleased to confirm that the Welsh Government’s draft budget for 2016-17 contains £27m to enable the WILG to continue until 31 March 2017 as planned.

“This will allow local authorities to provide recipients with their payments in the next financial year at the same level they received under the previous ILF at the time it closed, helping them to live independently in the community. I’m sure this will be very welcome news for recipients.”

The Minister added that the £27m being transferred from the UK Government to the Welsh Government is sufficient to maintain recipients’ payments at the same level as when the ILF was closed. There is, however, no allowance in the fund for a change in a person’s needs or for any changes in the cost of the support they require.

He said:

“The £27m a year the UK Government is making available to us is unsatisfactory, because it greatly restricts the options available to us for providing support to recipients in the longer term.

“In light of this, I wish to give further thought to three longer-term options to identify which one might best deliver effective support, despite the difficult financial position.

“Welsh Government officials will work with stakeholder representatives to develop the detail of each of these options; how each may be implemented; their benefits and challenges. I have asked them to do this as quickly as possible so the next government can make a decision early in its term about which to implement.

“This will ensure sufficient time is available to consider and put in place future arrangements for when the current WILG is due to end on 31 March 2017.”

 

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Health and social services 05 February 2016 Programme for Government - Healthcare Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales
 
 

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