Conwy Council ‘facing social services shortfall’
PEOPLE receiving home help and day care from Conwy County Council will only have to pay £50 a week when new Welsh Assembly Government measures are implemented.
But the council is worried this could lead to a shortfall in its care budget and they will have to put up the hourly rate they charge to help meet it.
This could mean many people paying less than they do now, but others paying more, depending on the number of hours help they receive each week.
“This really horrifies me, that the most vulnerable people in our society will be affected. It’s disgusting,” said chairman of the council’s principal scrutiny committee Janet Fin Saunders.
“It beggars belief that the Assembly should place this authority under such stress.”
And Betty Perrin, from the Llandudno group of Carers Wales, said it looked as though people who currently receive less than £50 worth of home help each week would suffer if the hourly charge went up.
At present, people whose income and savings are less than £22,000 a year pay an hourly rate of £8.44 and this would go up from April 2011 to £11.50, and from April 2012 to £13.30.
“The problem is that people’s incomes aren’t going up, so this increase would be difficult for some who only have a few hours of care a week to meet. It’s very worrying,” she said.
She cited the case of a woman who only needed ten minutes of help a day but had to pay the full hourly rate.
“She has now gone into residential care but this would have meant she would have had to pay almost double for the service she was receiving, which would have been terrible for her,” she said.
The Assembly says it will pay compensation to councils who face a shortfall because of the new measure, but its expected that Conwy will still lose out to the tune of £160,000 a year and that’s why its charges will have to go up.
Cllr Liz Roberts, the council’s cabinet member for social care, said: “If we aren’t able to charge over £50 a week, that will leave us with a shortfall which we will have to meet somehow, and that is why these proposals are being put forward.”