In January 2016 the SNP Government was proud to announce it was investing an additional £6 million funds in making Social Care Charges fairer. As part of the budget settlement with local councils, the Scottish Government included the money to increase income thresholds so disabled people would have to pay less for social care charges. And each council’s share of this was to be about £187,500 per year. Each disabled person affected could have been expected to be about £10 a week better off. This was to be a step to meeting the demands of campaigners such as the Frank’s Law campaign who argue that making people under 65 pay care charges is unfair.
The main aim of this was to see Income Disregards increased for disabled people by changing the way they are calculated. However 18 months on and Clackmannanshire Council is still using the old system. This can cost over £500 per year to the worst affected. It seems that Clackmannanshire has taken the money and run to the detriment of local disabled people.
Why is the Scottish Government still relying on local councils to do the decent thing? They should use the powers that they already have under the The Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002 and end Care Charges once and for all.