Labours £1 million raid on the elderly and disabled

Cecil Meiklejohn

The centrepiece of the Labour / Tory budget for Falkirk Council is a £1m raid on the pockets of Falkirk’s most vulnerable.

A move, favourably presented by the Falkirk Herald, is to levy charges for the Home Care Service despite the fact the SNP abolished these charges in 2006, however, it is the level of charges that has alarmed service users.

The SNP has calculated that the average new charge for this currently free service will average around £30 per week for applicants.

SNP Spokesperson Cecil Meiklejohn said,

“The new leader of Falkirk Council, Craig Martin, has presented a cosy no pain picture in the local press of their radically right wing proposals but the reality is very different.

The Independent Living Fund has been presented as an alternative to the current method of funding but this fund has been in existence for many years and has a low take up for various reasons.

First of all the qualifying criteria is very restrictive meaning that very few people qualify. Criteria such as only those receiving over £350 worth of services a week and the fact applicants lose Attendance Allowance means that the bulk of Labour’s million pound raid on the elderly and disabled will fall on those who do not qualify for inclusion in the Independent Living Fund.

What we have before us from Labour and their Tory colleagues is the largest single attack on the living standards of the elderly and disabled ever seen in Falkirk.

Craig Martin claimed on Central FM that Labour’s priority was to protect the vulnerable but the reality is the exact opposite. Never before can a local politician have been so cynical in his outpourings and that contempt for the truth will not be lost on those who will pay a high price for Labour’s cuts.”

Labour also propose

  • the privatisation of some council services
  • a further 10% increase in school meals on top of last years 22%
  • an increase of 15% for leisure facilities thus hitting those with least most
  • cuts in jobs at a time of recession
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