Pat’s response

Hard to believe that a council which once had a fine reputation for its ‘no charge’ policy has now thrown disabled & older people into this worrying situation of charging an aggressive 100% simply because they have savings over a certain amount (through being frugal & taking responsibility for their finances). In addition to this, any pension they have contributed to is also included in the means testing – once again, penalising those who have taken steps during their working life to ensure they can have some quality of life. The cost of being disabled is huge and once any savings have paid towards things like accessible vehicles or simply renovating their accommodation, that money will be gone and no opportunity to save again.

The people making these proposals and decisions have no insight into disabled people’s lives. They must listen to what is being said. They have been elected by the residents of the borough & therefore must give due regard to the facts being presented by the growing number of people whose lives are being affected.

The UK has signed up to the Human Rights Act – what an irony ! Means testing people for services they need to survive – people who have paid into the system all their lives. Unacceptable.

The council must look at other ways to plug its financial gap & not go for the easy target of disabled & older people.

My view is that the council are wishing to use this as a way of making up a deficit in the council’s finances. I wonder how parents would feel if they were asked to contribute towards their children’s education, based on their income. I suspect there would be a huge outcry !

The council DOES NOT have to implement this regime. It is not a legal requirement. The Govt. Spending Review has allocated an additional £2 billion fo health & social care – so why is RBK even thinking about increasing the charges already in place? What is RBK going to spend their allocation on?

Finally, the ‘consultation’ proces has been badly organised for a variety of reasons – in particular the time it has taken to inform people. I heard about it through a friend & it was a few weeks later before I received anything from the council. The winter is a difficult time for disabled & older people to get out & attend the meetings being held & it is set to get even colder. Christmas is nearly upon us, so in essence, the length of time being given to this insufficient. Perhaps I am being cynical, but I feel that the proposal will be pushed through regardless of how people feel. This must not be allowed to happen.