Monday 29 Mar 2010 @ 11:20
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Fairer homecare charges measure receives Royal Assent
Ground breaking legislation to provide fairness and consistency in charging by local authorities for social care provided in the community has been approved. Royal Assent has been granted for the Social Care Charges (Wales) Measure.
The Measure will allow Welsh Assembly Government to exercise greater control over the financial assessments councils make to calculate charges for services such as home care, day care and support for carers.
Research undertaken for the Welsh Assembly has shown that there is wide variation in the charges made by local authorities for these services and disparity in the rules used by them in assessing a person’s financial means to pay.
The Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas, said:
“This is a landmark Measure for the Welsh Assembly Government enabling us to deliver a fairer deal for those older and disabled people who are charged for their homecare and other non-residential services.
“Evidence clearly shows that those who receive these services experience inequity due to the wide inconsistencies that exist in the charging systems operated by local authorities.
“I am pleased to announce that these new powers will be used next year when we introduce our First Steps Improvement Package to tackle this inequity that will honour the One Wales commitment we made and help many vulnerable people in Wales.”
One of the major components of this First Steps Package is the introduction of a maximum weekly charge of £50 for all of the services a person receives irrespective of where they live in Wales.
Work will now commence in consultation with stakeholders to draw up the regulations and guidance required to introduce the First Steps Package from April 2011.