So another year gone and a new begun, will it be better, worse or the same as 2014.

Well, I suppose we hope that it will be better, but in what way. Will we be richer, more happy, be more content, successful  or glad that we are still alive.

Many of you will have made New Year resolutions, are you still on course or have you already let some or all of them go.

I myself do not make resolutions, except for always making sure my disabled daughter is safe, comfortable and able to live her life within her own choice or choice within the bounds relating to safeguarding.

Well so far we still have the same Government, but will we after May 2015 and will the new Government make life better or not.

While I hope for the best, especially for my daughter, do I really believe this will be so. We are told the UK is on the slow road to recovery, but have I or have many seen so.

For the last 4 or 5 years the present Government as been, or so they say, taking steps to bring the UK out of recession, to which they say they are being successful. But this is at the expense of the lives of the population of the UK. For some of the measures they are taking is forcing cuts to the budgets of all or many of the public authorities who provide services to the public. Now many of the front line services are also be cut, due to the reducing budgets and year by year increasing costs, including police, Fire and many services run through local authorities. So anyone who relies on these services, especially those from local authorities, of which many persons with disabilities are, are suffering a larger degree of cuts than those who are not in receipt of many services.

As both myself and my wife are advancing in years and our health is deteriorating, we have come to rely on local authority services more to help us care for our daughter to live her life with us at our home. Without the care package funded through the local authority and until 1 July 2015, the Independent Living Fund*, this would not be possible. Should this not be possible in the future our daughter would have to leave home and live in the wider community, at a greater expense to the local authority.

Most of the current package provides sufficient help and support to enable our daughter to live within our own home. The weekday care is provided by the package to enable funding for ourselves to employ 2 Personal Assistants to provide the care and support required, which for both PA’s to work together, as my daughter requires double handling due to her disabilities and to use the necessary equipment.  But this is  complicated by the fact that the Independent Living Fund is being closed by the current Government on 30 June 2015 and the responsibility for this part of the package will pass to the local authority from 1 July 2015, With my daughters package over 75% of the weekday package is funded through the ILF. This will cause an even greater strain on the local authority budget, not only for this year, but for future years. Although the Government have stated they will transfer the current ILF money to the respective LAs they have only said this is for 2015 and not for further years and they have not insisted that the transferred money be earmarked for the existing recipients. So we will require the ILF portion to continue to be paid, further, the hourly rate for the PA’s has not been increased since 2010 and the package does not provide for holiday and sickness cover for the PA’s. This has previously been undertaken by myself or my wife, but with our deteriorating health this is proving more difficult to do, so the hourly rate and holiday/sickness cover needs to be considered.

By including these the cost of the package would still be the cheaper option as opposed to our daughter leaving home.

The Care Act 2014 is to be fully implemented in April 2015 and within this Act it states that the needs of the individual have to be met and the individuals choice respected, but the Governments own actions appear to be counter to this.

So will 2015 be better, well for myself and my family only if our daughters choice is respected and the care package altered to include the measures stated above.

I am therefore hoping for a better year, but will have to wait and see.


*Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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