Kath’s response

The proposed new home care charges are designed to hit those whose needs are most severe, and who require the most help. I agree with all the others who have protested in regard to the fact that those who remain independent in their own homes, will not only have a huge increase in their care fees, but will also incur the increasing costs associated with remaining in their own homes – heating, lighting, gas, council tax, insurance cover, cost of food, medical supplies and all ad hoc costs associated with running a home. These costs in total will far outweigh the cost of being in a residential or nursing home. This would appear to be directly in contradiction of the council’s previous policy of helping disabled and elderly people to be more independent and remain in their own homes. In fact, those with the highest needs will be finanically discriminated against. My elderly disabled mother has been extremely unwell over these forthcoming proposals – it is morally wrong that those in extreme need, through no fault of their own, and who have made provision for the future, should be treated in this manner.

Why have the Council produced no forecast of savings as a result of the implementation of their proposed charges? Surely they must have some idea of the amount they will save. What other areas are they proposing to cut or make savings in? How can the residents of Kingston make their views known as to how they would like to see savings made, when no figures are available? I, for one, am not a resident of Kingston, athough my mother is, but I feel savings could be made in relation to Kingston Council’s subsidy of the Freedom Pass. Whilst I feel the retention of National Bus Passes are essential, is it necessary for the Council to continue to subsidise free rail, tram, Docklands Light Railway and water buses at the expense of elderly and disabled people’s services?

I think the Council need to take into account of the moral issues and human rights issues for those people who are going to find their lives hit very hard by its proposal to remove the cap on charges in the future. Their very lives are already hindered by their disability and age, and this will be worsened by the worries associated with their financial situation, at a time when they should be nurtured and respected. Indeed, they should be encouraged to feel part of the human race and not discriminated against because of their age and disability.