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The Development of Direct Payments in the UK: Implications for Social Justice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 January 2005

Sheila Riddell
Affiliation:
Centre for Inclusion and Diversity, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh E-mail: sheilar@education.ed.ac.uk
Charlotte Pearson
Affiliation:
University of Glasgow
Debbie Jolly
Affiliation:
University of Leeds
Colin Barnes
Affiliation:
University of Leeds
Mark Priestley
Affiliation:
University of Leeds
Geof Mercer
Affiliation:
University of Leeds

Abstract

Direct payments have been heralded by the disability movement as an important means to achieving independent living and hence greater social justice for disabled people through enhanced recognition as well as financial redistribution. Drawing on data from the ESRC funded project Disabled People and Direct Payments: A UK Comparative Perspective, this paper presents an analysis of policy and official statistics on use of direct payments across the UK. It is argued that the potential of direct payments has only partly been realised as a result of very low and uneven uptake within and between different parts of the UK. This is accounted for in part by resistance from some Labour-controlled local authorities, which regard direct payments as a threat to public sector jobs. In addition, access to direct payments has been uneven across impairment groups. However, from a very low base there has been a rapid expansion in the use of direct payments over the past three years. The extent to which direct payments are able to facilitate the ultimate goal of independent living for disabled people requires careful monitoring.

Type
Themed Section on Disabled People and Social Justice
Copyright
© Cambridge University Press 2005

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