Advisors unable to advise
Scotland Against the Care Tax carried out a Freedom of Information request in December 2018 with all Scottish Local Authorities to try and find out how ready they are for the extension of Free Personal Care. However the results add to our concern as it seems many of the Scottish Government’s closest advisers don’t have information to support such modelling or their own projections.
In our FOI we asked how many clients received personal care and/or other forms of care. Of the 7 local authorities who took part in the Scottish Government’s Implement Advisory Group and presumably carried out the local modelling that the Scottish Government relied on we received the following responses:
Disappointed in Response
Scotland Against the Care Tax are disappointed that the Scottish Government has failed to meet the assurances made by the Cabinet Secretary on the 10th of January to the Petitions Committee.
Jeane Freeman: That is, partly, the critical bit; there are numbers and then there are assumptions and modelling. We will provide the committee with what we used.
Instead of providing any of the actual data that the Scottish Government used to support this policy development they have provided only a list of 6 data sources that they used.
- Scottish Government data;
- a survey of local authorities undertaken as part of a published feasibility study;
- local modellling by members of the IAG;
- projections based on the main supported people client groups;
- Local Government Financial returns; and
- comparison with the impact of introducing free personal care for older people.
Scrap the Care Tax - Don't tax us to go to the toilet!
Join our Protest
Tuesday OCT 23 at 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Hosted by Scotland Against The Care Tax and 2 others ·
The Scottish Parliament
Holyrood, EH99 1SP Edinburgh, United Kingdom
The Scottish Government's proposal to extend Free Personal Care means that disabled people will still have to pay hundreds of pounds a month for their social care, including if they need help to use the toilet when out and about.
This protest will see the launch of a new video by Kiana Kalantar-Hormozi calling on Nicola Sturgeon to step in now and fix this.
Rather than tinkering with reducing payments for a few, its time the Scottish Government acted to end all social care charges.
Join us outside the Scottish Parliament for this important protest.
The new video will be launched on this website at 6pm on Monday 22nd October - Check back then for news.
More detail on the Personal Care Rebate
We welcome the Scottish Government plans to extend Free Personal Care to all adults who require social care. However, we have concerns that the intention and ambition of this policy may be undermined by the mechanisms used to implement it.
In announcing this policy, the Health Secretary, Shona Robison said
“We will now take forward the work of extending free personal care to everyone who requires it, regardless of age. At least 9000 people will benefit from this change and we will work closely with local government and others to implement these changes so that all those who require personal care are able to access it.”
We understand that the government is likely to implement this policy by amending existing legislation, producing new guidance, then transferring additional funding to local councils, with the expectation they will use this additional resource to reduce care charging for disabled people.
If this is the mechanism used to deliver the extension of free personal care to under 65s, then we have evidence that it will only benefit a small proportion of the 9,000 people who access personal care and will fall far short of the government’s ambition for this policy that ‘all those who require personal care are able to access it.’
We believe that if this proposal is to deliver the change that is expected by the Scottish Government and disabled people, then a fairer method of implementation is needed. In order to deliver the Extension of Free Personal Care, each adult under 65 receiving care would still be assessed and the balance between personal care and other support in their care package would be identified.
The current charging regimes would still be applied with all the income thresholds, allowable expenses, taper rates and service rates. However, at the end, after the current calculation has been made, a Personal Care Rebate is applied to the charges deducting the individual cost of personal care hours.
The Cost of Personal Care is a simple calculation of number of hours times the local hourly rate. This establishes the maximum possible level of rebate. The value of the rebate can never be greater than the “original contribution/charge”.
- Where the cost of personal care was higher or equal to the “original contribution/charge” a null charge would be set.
- Where the cost of personal care was lower than the “original contribution/charge” a reduced charge would be set.
The Scottish Government would still set the amount it was going to transfer to each local authority in lieu of personal care charges in its normal budget setting process
We have published a more detailed paper that goes into more detail and looks at the equality issues about treating older people and younger adults differently. Download the full paper
Failure To Deliver
Two years ago, the Scottish Government agreed to give an additional £6 million per year to Integrated Joint Boards to raise care charging Income Thresholds for 2016-17 onwards. In Feb 2016, the Cabinet Secretary said that “This would benefit more than 13,000 people who will pay a smaller contribution towards the cost of their care and around 900 people who will be taken out of charging altogether.”
In February The Scottish Governement published the Local Government Finance Statistics which looked at the income from social care charges for this year. It showed that instead of 2016-17 income from service users falling by £6 million there was a rise of £1.67 million! An additional £7.67 million of charges had been raised on disabled people.
To see what was happening we examined the amount of money that was allocated to each local authority to increase thresholds and what change this led to in overall income from care charges.
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