A new survey of local authorities, published by Labour, reveals that Cambridgeshire is one of the most expensive places in the country for home care services, which help frail and vulnerable older and disabled people get up, washed, dressed and fed. The survey found that in Cambridgeshire, people pay £17.44 an hour, more than the Royal Borough of Windor and Maidenhead, much more than Norfolk (£14.62) and almost twice as much as in Liverpool (£9.70), while in Tower Hamlets home care is free.
Cambridgeshire is also one of a number of councils that have recently ended the ‘cap’ on the weekly costs people are required to pay for home care. This cap varies from £90 a week in Barnsley to £900 a week in Brighton and Hove.
Daniel Zeichner, Chair of Cambridge Labour Party describes the charges as “a stealth tax on the most vulnerable people in society.”:
“These services are a lifeline for older and disabled people and crucial to help them stay living independently in their own homes. The Government is out of touch with the growing care crisis.They promised to protect social care services, but more than £1 billion has been cut from local council budgets for older people since the Conservative-led Government came to power. They also promised to legislate on a future legal and financial framework for social care in this Parliamentary session. Yet last week’s Queens Speech only committed to publishing draft legislation on reforming social care law, with no commitment to introduce a Bill on reform of care funding.”