Until Wednesday 16 December (midnight), Liverpool City Council is consulting about changes to their charging policy, which they want to bring in from January.
Changes include increasing the hourly rate which people may have to pay, up from £10/hour to the full cost, and charging for pet care while people are in hospital. In other places, we have seen Councils take women’s entire DLA/PIP care benefit in weekly charges, following a change in charging policy.
Sue Ferguson, Liverpool, writes:
“A Charging Policy for Non-residential social services (homecare and day centres) was introduced in Liverpool in 1996. In the years since then, we have seen changes to this policy (and not in a good way).
Also, in 2012 the eligibility criteria level was raised to exclude people with moderate levels of need. The need of course doesn’t disappear.
In 2010 Liverpool City Council set about the task of coping with unprecedented cuts to their funding. This has resulted in cuts to the services you would expect a Council to provide. Sadly, the fight-back against these cuts has been missing.
The most recent ‘coping’ strategy involves changes to their Charging Policy. Charging by means-testing for a person’s assessed care needs, in my opinion, should not be tolerated. But this group of people are an easy target, and the ‘consultation’ is the posting of a consultation document on the City Council website.
I think we should:
1. Oppose these changes.
2. Campaign to abolish charging for care, and
3. Organise to bring the provision of all care services in-house.
How long before we have means-testing for all NHS services?”
Reply to the consultation here
About Sue Ferguson: In 2001, Sue won a precedent-setting legal challenge against Liverpool City Council on how homecare charges are assessed — which to this day protects all disabled women against financial dependence on their partners. Watch our 2106 interview with Sue here. Read the report in the Liverpool Echo.