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Independent Living Fund

Volume 570: debated on Monday 18 November 2013

I declare an interest, in that my brother is enabled to live independently in his own community by the ILF, and I am extremely grateful that that opportunity is afforded to him. Will the Minister assure the House that when the Government come to consider their future plans, there will be full consultation this time with disabled people and disability groups in Wales, the regions of England, and Scotland, and specifically with the Welsh Government?

I greatly respect the hon. Gentleman, but the conclusions of the Court of Appeal were nothing to do with consultation. It was a process issue, in that the Court felt that the Minister had not been given enough information, based on the information that was put in writing. The Court went on to say that there was evidence that the Minister

“consulted personally with many affected groups”

and it had

“no doubt that evidence of hard cases would have been forcefully drawn to her attention.”

That is what the Court ruled. It had nothing to do with consultation.

The Department for Work and Pensions annual report was due to be published in April this year. When will we finally see it?

With due respect, the Court ruling did not have an awful lot to do with that so I cannot answer the question. The annual report will come out in due course.

The Minister of State has the advantage in this case of being right. It was rather a cheeky inquiry by the hon. Member for Ealing North (Stephen Pound), even by his own standards.