In Britain, Taxpayer Funded Lap Dances For People With Disabilities
I read the synopsis and thought "Oh here we go". Because it just sounded to me like the government had made a change whereby the disabled receive funds directly rather than having services supplied via the government or their authorized agencies. So, yes, in theory this could happen but does it really?
So I searched for the original article in the London Telegraph, and it turns out it could. And does. Oh my. Here are some excerpts from the article with my commentary in pink:
The £520 million scheme promised to give elderly people and those with disabilities more control over the care they received, by passing on cash so individuals could choose the services they needed. An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph can disclose that exotic holidays, internet dating subscriptions and adventure breaks, as well as visits to sex workers and lap dancing clubs have been permitted under the system.
|This is the actual photo that accompanies the article.|
Even I'd look better than that in a bikini,
but I'm strangely not comforted by this.
In the course of 12 months, one man with mental health problems from Norwich received a holiday in Tunisia, a subscription to an internet dating site, driving lessons, and expensive art materials. (I used to date a guy who was from Norwich, and I actually visited there. I think that I was the first American to pass through their airport because when the customs guy asked me what I was doing there I thought that he was asking the official "What is the nature of your trip: business or pleasure?" but he was like "No, I meant what are you doing here?" Hmmmm...Simon? Is that you? If so, I would not have been above accompanying him on holiday to Tunisia on the government's dime. Hey, I would have been saving them on hookers.)
Zoe Grace Cozens, who wrote the council's policy on learning disability and sexuality, said the authority also had a duty of care to ensure that those with learning disabilities were not being exploited financially, if they paid for prostitutes from their own money. "That could mean care workers phoning to check what rate sex workers were charging," she added. (Every government worker in England was just handed the perfect excuse if they ever get caught soliciting prostitutes. "I'm just doing my job, checking on rates for my poor disabled clients. In fact, I think I just saved us a bunch of money by negotiating a volume discount, and this is the thanks I get!")
Belinda Schwer, a legal consultant who advises councils, said many local authorities agreed support plans for clients which did not specify how funds would be used, once they passed out of their hands. In the case of someone given funds to go to a sex worker, such documents might set out an intended emotional outcome, rather than the means by which it was achieved, she suggested. "If you have got a happy and calm person who was previously frustrated and angry, that might achieve a good outcome, but the case law says councils should be setting out which services are being used," she said. (This sounds very much like IEP language where all of the recommended hours and services have to be justified as supporting a specific goal. So let me see if I have this straight: Frustrated, Angry Person + Sex with a Prostitute = Happy, Calm Person. Yeah, I get that. Just substitute "ABA therapy" for "Sex with prostitute" and that pretty much summarizes every IEP meeting I've ever had.)
Matthew Elliot, chief executive of The Taxpayers’ Alliance said it was “deeply worrying” that public money had been spent on the services of prostitutes, lapdancing clubs and to pay for holidays. He said: “Many taxpayers will be appalled and offended that money intended for social care has been used in this way." (Good God, they are such prudes over there. This would never be an issue in the U.S.)
Coming Soon: How I think Audrey would spend an adult stipend. Spoiler alert! Not on sex workers.