UK

Disabled Campaigners Lose High Court Battle Over Axing Of Independent Living Fund

24/04/2013 11:11 BST | Updated 24/04/2013 19:19 BST
PA

Five disabled people have lost their High Court challenge over the government's decision to abolish a scheme that helps them live independently.

Their lawyers asked Mr Justice Blake, sitting in London, to declare "unlawful" the consultation process that led to the proposed axing of the £320m Independent Living Fund (ILF).

Dismissing the application, the judge said that many issues relating to the future funding of ILF users remained outstanding, but the consultation process had been lawful.

Campaigners from all over the country, many in wheelchairs, attended the hearing in March that led to Wednesday's ruling at the Royal Courts of Justice.

The five are among 19,000 people who currently receive money from the ILF, which the government plans to scrap in 2015. The average payout is £300 a week per recipient.

The money enables them to employ personal assistants to help them with their personal needs and, they say, to "go out and have a full life".

One of the five applicants for judicial review was Gabriel Pepper, from Walthamstow, east London, who accused the government of imposing "appalling cuts" which were "a vicious attack on the disabled".

The other applicants were Stuart Bracking, Paris L'amour, Anne Pridmore and John Aspinall, who brought his case with his mother, Evonne Taylforth, acting as his litigation friend.