Greenwich Council social care charge proposals ‘Threaten Disabled People’s Rights’

Greenwich local authority has announced plans to increase care charges and restrict access to care and support.

Social care charges are a tax on disability.  More and more research is illustrating how care charges, along with other cuts to public spending, are pushing disabled people into deeper poverty and forcing some to make unenviable choices between heating and eating.  Social care charges are also undermining Disabled people’s right to take part in community life, go out to work and see friends and family.

Greenwich council is proposing to hike social care charges which will undermine Disabled people’s ‘human right to independent living’ according to Greenwich resident and service user Anne Novis, who is also chair of Inclusion London.

“Greenwich Council says they need to raise social care charges to offset the government cuts to local authority funding. However, we do not believe taxing and taking money from disabled people who are least able to pay is the best way to achieve this aim. Trying to raise money by targeting those who are most harshly affected by austerity is wrong. The result will be to push more disabled people into poverty and will prevent many of us from enjoying our human right to live independently and be included in the community.”

She added that the council could use some of its £13million reserves but refuses to because of Brexit. “If the charges do increase, I would be unable to afford to pay, which means I would have to reduce my care, which would, in turn, mean I would have to stop my voluntary work,” she said.

Hammersmith and Fulham council have scrapped social care charges and Inclusion London hopes that Greenwich council will learn lessons from their colleagues and reduce the burden on disabled people who have already been hit disproportionately hard by a decade of austerity.

Svetlana Kotova, Director of Campaigns and Justice at Inclusion London, said: “We will continue supporting disabled people in Greenwich to campaign against the proposed changes and we will explore all possible means to prevent Greenwich council from implementing their proposals.  We will make sure disabled people in Greenwich understand their rights, have access to advice, including legal advice, and can challenge councils’ decisions when necessary.”

A new DPAC group in Greenwich has been set up which aims to challenge the proposed increased charges.
Their fight against Greenwich council’s proposals is supported by us at Inclusion London.

 

Rightsinfo – Human Rights News, Views and Info have also covered the story.