Severely disabled man loses fight against huge cuts to disability payment

A severely disabled man has lost his battle in the Court of Appeal over cuts by a local authority to his care funding.

Luke Davey, 41, was seeking to overturn Oxfordshire County Council‘s decision to reduce by 42 per cent his weekly personal budget, which provided a 24-hour care package.

Three appeal judges ruled the council had not acted unlawfully.

The judges were told at a recent one-day hearing that Mr Davey, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, and others like him have been seriously adversely affected by Government changes to the care funding system.

Critics of the Government say Mr Davey’s case illustrates how disabled people are suffering because ministers axed the independent living fund (ILF) in 2015 but failed to ring-fence sufficient money for the disabled under the new Care Act 2014, which makes cash-strapped local authorities responsible for funding all care needs.

Mr Davey, who is registered blind, attempted to overturn a ruling by High Court judge Mr Justice Morris which went against him.

Lord Justice McFarlane, sitting with Lord Justice Bean and Lady Justice Thirlwall, rejected the bid, saying: “Like (Mr Justice Morris), I have great respect for the manner in which the claimant, his family and his team of carers cope with his difficult situation.

“But that is not the same thing as saying that the council’s actions have been unlawful.”

Mr Davey and his lawyers were given until September 18 to consider whether they wish to apply to the Supreme Court for permission to make a further appeal.

A spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council said it would continue to work with Mr Davey and his family to ensure he gets the essential services he needs.

He added: “The Court of Appeal has confirmed that the council’s assessment of Mr Davey’s care needs and the allocated amount for his personal budget is appropriate and lawful.

“All local authorities who provide adult social care services against a background of financial constraints in the public sector are having to make difficult decisions.”


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