Interesting news today from the Petitions Committee. The Clerks organised that our petition on ending social care charges for everyone be heard shortly after a petition from Amanda Kopel which was also seeking to end care charges for people with Alzheimer’s and other degenerative conditions. Because the Cabinet Secretary Shona Robison had been present for an earlier petition she stayed on to comment on the care charging issues. Her news was
- Professor David Bell from Strathclyde University has been working on financial options for achieving fairer and more consistent care charges. He has now finished this work and the report is with the Scottish Government.
- The Scottish Government agree in principle that they need to take action to achieve a fairer social care charging system.
- The Scottish Government would be reforming care charges for all service users regardless of disability or condition.
- There were a number of options that the Scottish Government were considering such as Increasing the minimum income disregards or extending Free Personal Care to the under 65s
- The options that would be eventually chosen would depend on the final decisions over the budget for the next 3 years in Novembers spending reviews
- The Scottish Government proposals would be published well before the dissolution of the Scottish Parliament in March 2016
This Wednesday sees the launch of a consultation on a private members bill to abolish all social care charges and the work has begun on a number of legal cases to challenge the fundamentals of social care charging. We are hopeful that these efforts will come together to achieve real and lasting change.