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Ex- journalist says disabled being treated like ‘guinea pigs’ by government

Nathan DaviesA former regional journalist and disability campaigner claims disabled people are being treated government “guinea pigs” after a home help scheme was scrapped.

Nathan Lee Davies, left, has started a petition opposing changes by the Welsh Government to scrap its £27m Independent Living Grant, which was introduced to help people who previously claimed from the UK government’s Independent Living Fund after that closed in 2015.

Wheelchair-bound Nathan, 40, was a journalist for North Wales daily The Leader before his condition progressed to the point where he was unable to work.

The scheme helps around 1,500 severely disabled people pay for cooking, cleaning, dressing and laundry, with a weekly average of £335.

Nathan told his former employer: “My carers currently come in twice a day, but even now I am alone between 2pm and 7pm and from 11pm to 8.30am. The biggest drawback to my condition is it leaves you isolated.

“I might want to go out, but I’m stuck in. Without my carers, I end up feeling frustrated because there will be something, some purpose, I need to do but can’t achieve.”

He added: “Disabled people throughout Wales – and indeed beyond – deserve the support of an independent body to help regulate their care and support without increasing the dependency on local authorities.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said previously: “The decision to transfer support for former ILF recipients in Wales to local authorities was based on advice from a stakeholder advisory group which included recipient and local government representatives, including Disability Wales.

“The introduction of a transitional period of two years in which to agree and put in place future support packages for recipients was a direct result of that group’s advice.”