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Independent Living Funds

Volume 450: debated on Monday 9 October 2006

On 3 May 2006 in a written ministerial statement, I announced details of a strategic review of the Independent Living Funds which, it was then planned, to be concluded by the end of December 2006.

The review is currently under way. The joint independent consultants, Melanie Kenwood and Bob Hudson, have developed a consultation strategy to gather evidence to inform the review’s recommendations. As part of the consultation strategy, consultants have requested concise, written submissions from key stakeholders by the end of August 2006. Following several requests from stakeholders, my Department has decided to extend this deadline to the end of September 2006. This extension will result in the review being completed later than originally planned.

The strategic review of the Independent Living Funds will, accordingly, conclude by the end of January 2007, with its report being published in February 2007.

The Independent Living Funds enable thousands of severely disabled people to live independently and the Government need to consider the future direction of the Funds in the light of both our goal of equality for disabled people and the wider context of proposed changes in social care. It is therefore important that we provide sufficient time for our stakeholders’ input to this review.