HC Deb 06 November 1995 vol 265 cc588-9
12. Mr. Michael Brown

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to make changes to the independent living fund; and if he will make a statement. [39695]

Mr. Andrew Mitchell

We have no plans at present to change the successful arrangements under which the independent living fund enables 16,000 severely disabled people to live in the community at a total annual cost of around £100 million.

Mr. Brown

I am glad to learn that my hon. Friend has no plans to make any changes. Will he take it from me that the independent living fund is a way of giving independence—very much true independence—to disabled people? It has been one of the most successful methods of financing disabled people to go about their own lives. Will he undertake to continue to regard the fund as one of the most prestigious methods of financing true independence among disabled people?

Mr. Mitchell

Yes, my hon. Friend is absolutely right. I pay tribute to the interest that he has taken in the funds on behalf of his constituents. During the recess, I visited the funds that are headquartered in Nottingham and attended a meeting of the board of trustees. I pay tribute to its work. It keeps in regular touch with its clients and its administration budget is extremely low, at around 1 per cent.