Two severely disabled men who use a fund for people with disabilities to live and work in the community have lost their bid to overturn the government’s decision to close it next June.
The high court ruled that Mike Penning, former minister for disabled people, had not breached equality laws in announcing the closure of the Independent Living Fund in March. The two men had been granted permission for a judicial review of the process leading to Penning’s decision, taken just weeks after the court of appeal quashed a previous, almost identical decision as being unlawful.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned that closure of the fund “will result in loss of dignity and independence for many ILF recipients”.
However, Justice Andrews, sitting in London, ruled that the decision was reached lawfully. As she announced her ruling, she offered her sympathy to those she said she knew would find it a “great disappointment”.