An update from the petitions committee

An update from the petitions committee

Stop The Care Tax
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…
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Council charges £1,000 for support service

Council charges £1,000 for support service

Stop The Care Tax
Man with Asperger's 'punished for being disabled' after council charges £1,000 for support service. Steven Oliver uses an outreach service that helped him secure a part time job - but he says the charge means there would be little point in working. An article in the Daily Mirror shows the increasing concern about rising care charges. A man says he is "being punished for being disabled" after a council gave him with a £1,049 invoice for the support that allows him to work. Steven Oliver, 40, who has Asperger Syndrome, had been receiving vital Self-Directed Support (SDS) through an outreach service provided by Autism Initiatives Scotland (AIS). This support has enabled him to work in a part-time job, for five hours a week over the last year. But Steven was…
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Can’t Pay – Won’t Pay

Can’t Pay – Won’t Pay

Stop The Care Tax
Care Charges – Scotland’s Hidden Rival to the Poll Tax A patchwork of different 32 different ways of taxing disabled people who require personal and social care is generating anger and discontent across Scotland and levels of non-payment now rival that of the Poll Tax. Thousands of disabled people all over Scotland are refusing to pay a tax of up to 100% on their income while Scotland’s local and national politicians have failed to end what everyone agrees is an unacceptable situation. Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health, states that “charges made by local authorities for social care, where necessary, need to be fair and affordable.” But figures from 29 Scottish local councils suggest that disabled people have given up waiting for the Scottish Government to sort the problem. 19%…
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How to claim Disability Related Expenditure

How to claim Disability Related Expenditure

Stop The Care Tax
Introduction Research by the disability charity Scope estimates that on average, disabled people spend £550 a month on disability-related expenditure, including higher heating bills, buying specialised equipment, paying for taxis to get around or covering higher insurance premiums. Paying for social care charges can make this even worse so it is important to have such Disability Related Expenditure properly recognised when it comes to any financial assessment Legal Basis for Charging and Disability Related Expenditure The Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 provides the legal basis for charging for non-residential care. Under s87 of the Act charges must be both “reasonable and practicable” for an individual to pay. Understanding the associated additional daily living costs of living with an illness or a disability is essential if local authorities are to ensure…
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The “Game’s A Bogey” for Efforts To Make Care Charges Fair

The “Game’s A Bogey” for Efforts To Make Care Charges Fair

Stop The Care Tax
COSLA’s new proposals to solve accusations of unfairness in social care charging are claimed to help less than 500 people in Scotland. Ian Hood, Coordinator of the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland said that “only a handful of wealthy pensioners who need help with shopping will be the beneficiaries of this scheme. Councils have increased care charges on disabled people by 21% in the last year alone and they are treating them as cash cows to make up for council cuts.” COSLA is bringing in a new Standard Financial Assessment Template that is meant to help councils reduce the variation in charges for the same service from one area to the next. Over 100,000 people in Scotland receive social care and those not entitled to Free Personal Care such as disabled…
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Council to scrap care charges

Council to scrap care charges

Stop The Care Tax
Hammersmith and Fulham Council announced they will be getting rid of the charges after saving money elsewhere Elderly and disabled people in Hammersmith and Fulham Council will no longer have to pay for home care charges. A total of 313 people who currently pay for carers to help carry out everyday tasks such as having a bath, cleaning or shopping will no longer have to pay the £12 an hour charge which can amount to £281 a week. Council leader Stephen Cowan announced the changes at last night’s public meeting held to celebrate the United Nation’s international day of disabled people. There are 1,666 people in the borough who use the home care service, with the majority eligible for free home care, but those who fall outside the threshold will…
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Scottish Labour attack the scandal of Scotland’s care tax

Scottish Labour attack the scandal of Scotland’s care tax

Stop The Care Tax
Today, Scottish Labour published a press release on the scandal of Care Tax.  We agree with them that this must be ended.   We really welcome the support of all political parties in the campaign against the Care Tax.  It is important that we focus on the fact that care charging is an attack on human rights of disabled people and not lost in a political spat in the pre-election debate. Below is an excerpt from the Labour Party press release.   On the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Scottish Labour attacked the scandal of Scotland’s care tax, calling on the Scottish Government to take immediate action to abolish it. Faced with huge budget cuts due to the underfunded council tax freeze, councils have increasingly turned to introducing…
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Care Charges go up by 5 times the rate of inflation

Care Charges go up by 5 times the rate of inflation

Stop The Care Tax
The Learning Disability Alliance Scotland has discovered new evidence that charges for social care are still rising at five times the rate of inflation.  New figures published by the Scottish Government earlier this week show that councils now generate almost £50 million from people living on state benefits to subsidise their statutory duties. While the amount collected in charges has reduced in homecare, this has been more than compensated by the rise in Direct Payments and reflects a more general move of people from getting homecare organised by the council to arranging for themselves directly. This 10% increase over the last financial year shows an accelerating increase in the amount councils take from people with disabilities from a 4% increase in 2011 and a 7% increase in 2012. All Scotland -…
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How to claim Disability Related Expenditure

How to claim Disability Related Expenditure

Stop The Care Tax
Research by the disability charity Scope estimates that on average, disabled people spend £550 a month on disability-related expenditure, including higher heating bills, buying specialised equipment, paying for taxis to get around or covering higher insurance premiums. Paying for social care charges can make this even worse so it is important to have such Disability Related Expenditure properly recognised when it comes to any financial assessment Legal Basis for Charging and Disability Related Expenditure The Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 provides the legal basis for charging for non-residential care.  Under s87 of the Act charges must be both “reasonable and practicable” for an individual to pay. Understanding the associated additional daily living costs of living with an illness or a disability is essential if local authorities are to ensure charging…
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Action works on Care Charging

Action works on Care Charging

Stop The Care Tax
Forth Valley Stronger Together group was really worried earlier this year when they found out that Stirling Council was planning more increases in its charging for social care services. Councillors were being told that they should raise the Care Tax rate from 75% to 100%. Already the tax rate in the area was one of the highest in the country but the new proposals would leave people in poverty. The group talked about the matter and then wrote to the council saying this was in an increase of over 30% of the level of charges that people would have while their income would only go up by 2%. It simply wasn't fair. The councillors listened and Stirling Council rejected plans to raise the charges by this level. Overall charges may…
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