The Scottish Independent Living Fund is still in the process of being set up. Self Directed Support Scotland will be hosting the Scottish ILF Development Manager (18 month contract, £50,000 pa), who reports to the newly formed Project Board, which is coproducing advice on the new Scottish ILF arrangements. The Project Board have recently (mid October) agreed the content of messages to go out to stakeholders, from Scottish Government, to keep everyone informed. They are currently being drafted in to accessible formats (possibly Easy Read, but if not then certainly Plain English) and there should be something going out to people in the next two or three weeks.
The project board consists of a number of user led disabled organisations such as GCIL and LCIL, The Scottish Government and Cosla.
The current arrangements as we understand it are:
• The entire ILF payments will be transferred to a new Scottish Government Fund from July 2015.
• The actual amount transferred will be the ammount still payable on June 30
• This will continue for as long as the ILF remains an identifiable funding element in either the UK government budgets or English & Welsh local authority budgets.
• Payment and contact details for current clients will be transferred and all existing payments will be maintained subject to point 2.
• Payments will probably be made by a new 3rd sector organisation
• No information is yet available on whether “match funding” from local authorities will be required under the SILF arrangements and if so, how much.
• As announced in the Sturgeon Press Release in the spring additional funding of £5.5 million will be made available for new applicants
The question about match funding will be important because without it the ILF money could be swallowed up by reductions in the local authority contribution for individual packages of care. But it is also a minefield with currently at least 4 different levels of match funding applying in ILF packages. It will be difficult to implement as it will be hard to prove it’s happening (especially if it’s happening gradually) without some kind of complex statistical calculation and it is not clear what sanction the SILF might have if councils transgress other than withdrawing its own funding (to the obvious detriment of the individual concerned).
The official Government position on the question of match funding is given in a written answer to Jackie Baillie MSP is “The Scottish Government expect to adopt the same existing criteria that is currently in place for existing users of the UK ILF on the establishment of the new Scottish Independent Living Fund by 1 July 2015. The Project Board will make a number of recommendations to Ministers during development and I expect that the criteria will be included within these.”