Just like 18,000 others on the Independent Living Fund, Gabriel Pepper was promised he’d be looked after. He says the reality is very different
A disabled man has sparked protests after revealing he’s lost half his care thanks to the Tories’ cruellest cut.
Gabriel Pepper, 44, was paid the Independent Living Fund for 16 years before the government scrapped it despite widespread protests. Just like 18,000 other disabled people Gabriel, who has severe complications from a brain tumour, was promised he’d still be cared for by his local council.
But the government has given councils less money than they had before and made no commitment to giving it directly to ILF clients.
Now the details of Gabriel’s package are clear – and he says the time he has with a carer has dropped from 72 hours a week to 38. That means he has just an hour a week to go shopping, Gabriel says.
He is planning to take legal action over his plight, which prompted a noisy protest yesterday outside the offices of London’s Waltham Forest Council. A dozen campaigners including from Disabled People Against the Cuts brandished signs saying: “A 48% cut is not a transition!”
Gabriel told Mirror Online: “The new cut would reduce my life to a skeleton. Disabled people will not be shoved to the margins of society. Disabled people did not create the global financial crisis.”
Gabriel suffers from poor eyesight and problems with co-ordination and stamina after a tumour in his brain had to be frozen instead of removed. He says he is unable to leave the house without support and has been told other tumours could develop.
“We are British people, and we are very angry, and we have Jeremy Corbyn now,” he added. Austerity in UK is a lie. The UK is the fourth richest country in the world.”
The £320m ILF helped 18,000 disabled people live in the community instead of care homes until it shut its doors on June 30.