Ian Hood, Coordinator of the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland said, “This really worrying news. Earlier this year the Scottish Government boasted that it had given £187,500 to each council. But it seems that council after council is finding ways to ignore what they are suggesting.
“Highland may be the worst but all of them see disabled and older people as unable to speak up or complain and think they can get away with this daylight robbery.
We think that Highland are going to raise five times that much from this change alone as they were given by the Scottish Government, never mind their above inflation hike for the rest of social care charges. Both Perth and Aberdeenshire will also raise more than the Scottish Government offered them. No wonder they ignored them. We hope the next Scottish Government will do a lot better than this.”
Kabie Brook of Autism Rights Group Highland said, “This will affect some of our members and obviously many others. Autistic people already have to fight to get support and if they have to pay £22 a week extra for care charges, then many of them may not bother, this will have a detrimental effect upon their health and wellbeing. This on top of everything else just adds to the stress that disabled people are under. Its something that the Health and Social Care Committee probably see as a small change but will mean a lot to autistic people and others with lifetime conditions.”
Amanda Kopel from Kirriemuir in Angus has led the fight for Frank’s Law. She had to pay care charges when her husband Frankie developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which led to early onset dementia. Because Frankie was the young side of 65, they had to pay for all the care they got. Frankie had lost his job and his income as this disease robbed him off his life bit by bit.
Amanda said "If we had had to pay £22 a week extra for care charges, it would have added to the financial pressure we were under. It was hard enough with Angus current policy. I thought Health And Social Care Integration was going to make it better for people, not worse!
“Sadly my husband is no longer here, but I am still in a battle for many others under the age of 65, who are going through the same as we did. People, who through no fault of their own, and who have been diagnosed with, Dementia, MS, MND, Parkinson's, PSP, other brain degenerative diseases and debilitating illnesses are being blatantly discriminated against because of their age and cuts to council budgets.....and it has to stop now.
“How many more people under the age of 65 will go to their grave having to pay for their personal care because of that age on their birth certificate? Disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful in this day and age.