A campaign to protest against government cuts to services for disabled people was launched on 8 February 2011. The Campaign for a Fair Society is an amalgam of individuals and organisations, including a range of charities and service providers, who are concerned about the effects of the Government’s recent Comprehensive Spending Review on the lives of many people with disabilities.
In a full page advert in the Times, the Campaign argued that, far from supporting the Chancellor George Osborne’s assertion that those with the “broadest shoulders should bear the greatest burden”, Government spending plans are, in reality, impacting negatively on some of the most vulnerable in society.
The campaign argues that reductions in local authority (LA) budgets of up to 25 per cent are leading to similar reductions in vital LA funded care and support services. It also claims that the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) and the loss of funding, which will affect 21,000 of the most severely disabled people in the country, may prevent many from continuing to live independently in the community.
Additionally, changes to the Support for Mortgage Interest benefit will, it is argued, effectively rule out shared home ownership for disabled people. A threat to the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people in residential care, may also lead to many people becoming isolated at home.
The campaign is seeking to engage policy makers in a dialogue over funding for services, and make a positive contribution to the debate, with “seven principles” to guide decisions about policy and funding.
The Campaign for a Fair Society has an interim steering group comprising Steven Rose (CEO of Choice Support), Sally Warren (MD of Paradigm), Maggie Sherlock (CEO of Advance Housing and Support), Alan Johnson (MD of Progress Care Housing Association) and Bob Tindall (MD of United Response).