Created on 8 December 2014

Hammersmith and Fulham Council announced they will be getting rid of the charges after saving money elsewhere

Elderly and disabled people in Hammersmith and Fulham Council will no longer have to pay for home care charges.

A total of 313 people who currently pay for carers to help carry out everyday tasks such as having a bath, cleaning or shopping will no longer have to pay the £12 an hour charge which can amount to £281 a week.

Council leader Stephen Cowan announced the changes at last night’s public meeting held to celebrate the United Nation’s international day of disabled people.

There are 1,666 people in the borough who use the home care service, with the majority eligible for free home care, but those who fall outside the threshold will not have to pay from April next year if the final decision is voted on at the council’s annual budget-setting process in February.

Mr Cowan said: “I am pleased we have found the money from back office cuts, such as from the council’s PR and admin budgets, and today announce that this administration will abolish what has rightly become known as a tax on disability.”

The council says that abolishing care charges will cost £324,000 a year in lost income but that the scheme is being funded by £400,000 cuts in PR, council publications and lamp post banners.

Created on 26 November 2014

This week sees the launch of the Learning Disability Alliance England.   For us in Scotland, despite all the recent work over the referendum there are many concerns that we share with people in England – welfare reform, employment, the development of the economy and equality issues.

For example, the roll out of Universal Credit across the whole of the UK will see the end of Severe Disability Premium which helps people with learning disabilities live independently.    Many people will be forced to make hard choices about rent, heating and food – all of which can cost more for people with disabilities, no matter which side of the border they live on.

We think that there will be many more things that are devolved that we can still cooperate on.  Many people don’t realise that case law and precedent set in either Scotland or England usually applies subsequently in both.  Legal rulings on equality law in England help us in Scotland while case law on assessment from Scotland helps make sure councils play fair in England.

Today more than ever austerity makes us all brothers and sisters.  We hope that together we can really begin to change the way that people with learning disabilities are seen and listened to no matter where they live in the United Kingdom.  Working together we are all stronger.