A 21-year-old man with learning disabilities is set to use taxpayers’ money to travel to Amsterdam and have sex with a prostitute.
Funds for the visit are being taken from a £520 million Government scheme designed to empower those with disabilities, but critics have expressed dismay at the use of public funds to pay for sexual services.
Neil Coyle, director of policy at Disability Alliance, said: “Public bodies don’t exist to find people sexual partners”.
He added: “When people go to councils for help, they are looking for essential services to maintain some level of dignified existence – help to dress and wash.”
And Matthew Elliott, chief executive of The Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Many taxpayers will be appalled and offended that money intended for social care has been used in this way.
“What’s more, it’s deeply worrying that this scheme has been so vulnerable to these abuses.”
The visit, which is due to take place next month, was revealed by Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from two groups which campaign for sexual rights for disabled people.
The young man’s social worker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, claimed that denying him the visit would “be a violation of his human rights.”
The social worker added: “Wouldn’t you prefer that we can control this, guide him, educate him, support him to understand the process and ultimately end up satisfying his needs in a secure, licensed place where his happiness and growth as a person is the most important thing?”
The FOI requests also revealed that money from the Government scheme has been used to fund visits to lap-dancing clubs and foreign holidays.
And another man who has a brain injury has a council care package which is designed to teach him to become sexually ‘self-reliant’ after his wife left him.
In response to the FOI requests most councils said that they didn’t condone the use of their funds to pay for sex, but 97 per cent of the 121 councils which responded said they had no policy on this topic, allowing social workers to use their discretion.
A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “Money allocated through Putting People First should be used by councils to help people to live independently.”
In July a group of local councillors went on a fact-finding visit to a lap-dancing club, despite the fact that residents expressed outrage when the visit was first mooted.
Cornwall Council’s Miscellaneous Licensing Committee and three council officers went to the Temptations T2 club on 29 June.
The trip was to help the Committee make decisions on new licensing laws regarding lap-dancing clubs, according to the Chairman of the Committee.
Newquay resident Tracy Earnshaw, who has campaigned against local lap-dancing clubs, said the trip, at taxpayers’ expense, is “galling”.