Friday, March 11, 2005

End Means Testing for Home Care for the Disabled

Writing a letter to a resident who is interested in Conservative policy towards the disabled.

The Southampton City Council should be aiming to hold, or reduce, or even abolish the charges for home care for the disabled. As has been pointed out, the able-bodied do not need help, or to pay for help, to get up in the morning, to go to the toilet, to take a bath, to prepare a meal, to get to bed. They take it for granted. A free service would be legal and fair, everybody would benefit, and the service would be efficient, based only on clinical need, no cost of assessment and collection of money.
The council raises some £1m a year in charges. It intends to raise another £175,000 a year, 17½ per cent more. Yet in the recent budget the administration resolved to spend an extra £750,000 on converting grass verges to hard standings for vehicles, and abandoned a proposal to save £500,000 on staffing. Has the Council got the priorities right? Should not the disabled be given a higher priority, and more generous benefits?

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