Multi-million pound fund to help disabled people to stay in their own homes.
Thousands of disabled people in Scotland are set to be supported through a new Scottish Independent Living Fund (SILF), Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today.
The scheme will safe-guard support given to more than 3,000 disabled people across Scotland and will build on existing care through a £5.5 million investment which will re-open it to new users, ensuring its long-term future.
The current UK Government’s support scheme is due to close in June 2015 and has been closed to new users since 2010.
The Scottish Government’s scheme will continue to provide vital everyday assistance to disabled people, allowing them to remain living at home and participate in work, training and education.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“Everyone should have the same freedom, choice and dignity to live independent lives at home, at work and in the community. Today we are safe guarding that right for the people of Scotland.
“Last year we met with disability groups who asked that a Scottish Independent Living Fund be re-opened to new users, while protecting the packages of existing users.
“We were also asked that we jointly develop the scheme with disabled people on a national basis. We have listened to their views, which is why we are protecting existing users and opening the fund to new users.
“The Scottish system will be run nationally with disabled people at the heart of its decision making.
“We are not only protecting funding packages for existing users, but providing an extra £5.5 million to re-open the fund to those who have not been able to access the current care package since its closure.
“Today’s commitment from the Scottish Government will allow new applicants in the first year to benefit from the funding, giving them a quality of life that everyone should be entitled to.
“There is no doubt that people in Scotland are paying a heavy price for Westminster decisions but we will do all we can to help. However, only in an independent Scotland will we have the full powers we need to protect our most vulnerable people and help them fulfil their potential in work and life.”
Notes to editors
Following negotiations with the UK Government to transfer management of the current Independent Living Fund (ILF) to the Scottish Government, a new Scottish Independent Living Fund (SILF) will be set up to protect and enhance services when the UK Government scheme closes in 2015.
The Scottish Government’s SILF will come into effect in July 2015, subject to the full allocation of funding being devolved to the Scottish Government.
Unlike England, where the responsibility for the ILF will be devolved to local authorities, the Scottish Government will develop a national system run by the third sector.
The budget for SILF will be made up of the transfer of the current funding levels alongside the Scottish Government’s £5.5 million investment.
Individuals are referred to the fund via local authority social services.
See the full press release here on the Scottish Government website: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Scottish-Independent-Living-Fund-b69.aspx