Unfair, unfounded and unsafe: Welsh Government proposals on raising the weekly maximum charge for adult non-residential care and support

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Welsh Government’s proposals to enable local authorities to increase the maximum weekly charges disabled people must pay for much needed social care and support are unfair, unfounded and unsafe, state organisations representing the interests of Deaf, Disabled People, Older People and Carers.

DW’s report Barely Surviving (2023) catalogued the dire impact of the cost-of-living crisis on disabled people. The report showed that almost 40% of disabled people in Wales live in poverty. 

Being a deaf, disabled and/or older person is expensive with extra unavoidable costs; high energy costs to keep homes warm, high costs of needed specialist equipment and the greater reliance on transport. These costs are essential added expenditure but are not fully met by Government. 

Personal care and support is another essential cost relating for deaf, disabled and/or older people. However, the ‘minimum income amount’ stipulated by Welsh Government in the fairer charging assessment is insufficient to meet the real costs of deaf, disabled and/or older people in addition to daily living costs.

Further research by our organisations during the consultation period has shown how current charges and further increases will exacerbate the financial hardship deaf, disabled and older people are being forced to live in. Many of those paying these charges are on benefits and do not know how they will afford any increases. 

Moreover, our findings reveal the wide variation and lack of transparency across local authorities in carrying out the financial assessment and the difficulties for social care recipients in challenging the charges imposed.

The increased charges will be nowhere near sufficient to ease the financial pressures on local authorities, yet will have dire consequences for many deaf, disabled and older people. This will include opting out of receiving essential support, which will not only mean still living in financial poverty but wellbeing poverty. This will undoubtably increase pressures on the NHS to sustain wellbeing as well as increase reliance on unpaid Carers. 

The consortium of organisations are calling on Welsh Government to:

  • Scrap proposal to increase the cap on non-residential adult social care charges, 
  • Progress work towards a National Care Service, which would make social care, free at the point of need, 
  • Review the minimum income amount, 
  • In co-production with organisations representing older people, deaf people, disabled people and Carers, review and harmonise the financial assessment process across Wales. 

Consortium Signatories:

All Wales Forum of Parents and Carers – admin@allwalesforum.org.uk 

All Wales People First

Age Cymru – helen.twidle@agecymru.org.uk 

Cymru Older Peoples’ Alliance  

Disability Wales – megan.thomas@disabilitywales.org

Learning Disability Wales – aled.blake@ldw.org.uk 

MS Society – Hilary.Watson@mssociety.org.uk

WCDP – cath@wcdeaf.org.uk

Wales Council of the Blind 

Links:

Welsh Government Consultation:

Raising the weekly maximum charge for adult non-residential care and support | GOV.WALES

DW’s Report Barely Surviving (2023):

Report launch – Barely Surviving: The Impact of the Cost-of-Living Crisis on Disabled People in Wales – Disability Wales

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