Saturday 31 December 2011
The Labour party has warned that there has been a sharp rise in the cost of council services for elderly and disabled people. The information was gathered by the Labour party through freedom of information requests.
Data from 93 out of 153 councils in England showed fees for meals on wheels has gone up by 13% over the last two years, while transport rose by 33%. The survey also found huge regional variations in the charges, as well as differences in the fees levied and the caps on the sum people - mainly the elderly - have to pay.
Shadow health minister Liz Kendall said the services were a "lifeline" for many people and the increases in home care charges for older and disabled people were "a stealth tax on the most vulnerable in society".
"The government is out-of-touch with the growing crisis in care. Their brutal cuts to funding for local council services are pushing up charges and placing an even greater burden on the people who most need help," she said.
The government said local authorities were responsible for non-residential care and changes should be affordable.
More than 500,000 people receive some form of home help from councils. Some of those will be paying for it while those with savings of below £13,000 get it completely free.
More details can be found on the BBC website.