A petition signed by 29 organisations representing disabled people, people living with long-term conditions, older people and carers, is calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to abolish all local authority charges for non-residential care services.
At present, local authorities across Scotland are able to charge for a range of non-residential social care services, which has a significant impact on the ability of many older and disabled people to enjoy their right to independent living and participate in the workplace and in their local communities.
Scottish Government statistics indicate that, over the last three years, care charges across Scotland have increased by 12 per cent on average.
There is also a huge variation in the charges that are applied for non-residential care services across the country. The Audit Commission found in 2013 that charges for a single hour of home care varied between £8.56 and £23.70 in different areas. In some instances these charges can lead to people doing without essential care and support.
The petition calls on the Scottish Government to use powers it already has to abolish care charges throughout Scotland. In doing so, the removal of the so called ‘care tax’ would enable people who need access to life enhancing services such as; support for getting up and going to bed, eating and drinking, and seeing family and friends, to do so freely at the point of delivery.