I am in a foul mood today after being passed the following condescending letter by Lesley Griffiths AM written by the Minister for Children and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies AM.
Following the letter below, I have shared some of the responses I have received after sharing this letter amongst the rest of the #SaveWILG campaign team. Feel free to leave your feedback in the Comments Box at the foot of this blog entry.
I guess I am so upset at this letter because it seems that Huw Irranca-Davies did not take on board the enormity of what I had to say and he seems to have dismissed it as the inconsequential bleatings of a disabled man. This hurts deeply and, believe me, I will get absolutely no pleasure from saying “I told you so” when the Social Care system in Wales finally implodes due to the negligence of Welsh Labour.
So where do I go from here? Tomorrow, I have the official launch of the #SaveWILG art exhibition at Theatr Clwyd and on Saturday we have the Community Awareness Day at Set the Bar in Wrexham. I will remain positive and keep up the fight because I believe that we are in the right and I am determined to be able to enjoy my life once more following these eight years of hostile uncertainty.
23rd January 2018
Thank you for your further letter of 21st December last year on behalf of your constituent, Mr Nathan Davies, regarding the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG),
You will recall I wrote to you on this on 14th November, soon after becoming Minister For Children and Social Care. In that letter I responded to a number of issues relating to this decision that Mr Davies had raised, including providing a copy of the summary of the public consultation that was held and first published in March 2015.
While I appreciate the apprehension WILG recipients such as Mr Davies will have about how they are going to be supported in future, the decision to change the delivery of this to local authority social care was not taken lightly. Neither was it taken in isolation of the views of those who represent disabled people in Wales as some have claimed. It was taken with the best interests of all disabled people in Wales in mind. This is of ensuring that all disabled people receive the support they need to live independently at home in line with the ethos of our new social care legislation. This is irrespective of whether they used to receive payments from the Independent Living Fund or not.
The continuation of the WILG would only have sought to reinforce the inadequate two-tier approach which currently exists to supporting disabled people in Wales, with some only receiving support from their local authority while some can receive this as well as dedicated payments from the WILG.
My kind regards,
Feedback from #SaveWILG Campaign Team
“It’s a shocking(ly awful) response from the Minister. Apart from a general attitude of ‘It’ll be OK, because I say it’ll be OK (but I’ve nothing to base that on)’, it fundamentally ignores the central issue that the councils can’t be trusted with this responsibility. To say ‘…I appreciate the apprehension…’ but ‘we gave it some thought and decided to do it anyway’ is dodging everything. Typical, I’m afraid, of a generation of politicians more interested in their own careers than supporting the people they represent.”
“Typical defensive political speak that ignores the issues and pretty much says there aren’t any. I don’t think we have a friend in HID, but we have plenty of others. At least we know how the land lies in that direction now.”
“What we have never managed to get over is we do not receive LA support plus WILG, we receive reduced LA support which is topped up by the WILG Payments.”
“I agree with all the above comments. HID doesn’t want to know and I’m sick of Welsh Labour just replicating everything the Tories do and expecting no resistance.”
“We should be looking at getting Labour councillors involved as the added work load to administer WILG will fall onto already overstretched councils.”