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 care charges for those under the age of 65 receiving non-residential care, rather than cutting services in an attempt to try and protect the most vulnerable. A coalition of disabled people and organisations, including Capability Scotland, Learning Disability Alliance Scotland, Inclusion Scotland, the Scottish Disability Equality Forum and Sense Scotland, have petitioned the parliament to end the unfair care tax, estimated to be around £50 million per year.
Scottish Labour’s Social Justice Spokesperson, Jackie Baillie MSP, said:
““With the SNP Government slashing resources to local authorities many are now forced to charge for essential care to shore up the huge budget cuts.
“With costs varying wildly from local authority to local authority, disabled people – who already face squeezed budgets – are now faced with spending what’s left of their income on essential care. After dragging their feet in the battle to mitigate against the Bedroom Tax, it seems the Scottish Government have a monster of their own creation wreaking havoc on the lives of disabled Scots– Scotland’s Care Tax.
“Before we even begin to talk about the considerable powers being devolved to Scotland as part of the Smith Agreement, the ability to abolish the Care Tax is something the Scottish Parliament could do now.
“If Nicola Sturgeon wants to live up to her own rhetoric on social justice she must start by using the powers already in her control to abolish the regressive care tax now.”