A decision by the Isle of Wight council’s cabinet about how some of the most vulnerable adults will be charged for their care packages is set to be made later this week.
If the recommendation is followed it would ignore the responses to a public consultation, as stated in the report, “the overall outcome was that a majority of people who responded were not in favour of the proposed changes”.
The Cabinet member for Adult social Care, Cllr Clare Mosdell (pictured above), last night (Tuesday) told members of the Scrutiny Committee that she had threatened to resign over the proposals, but decided to stay in the role because “after all the hard work and good that I am doing, actually that probably wouldn’t balance itself out”.
Cllr Davison: They “get them for a reason”
The Cabinet will be asked to approve an increase in care charges for the most severely affected people who live at home and are receiving Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments.
These people will be expected to pay more for their care.
The report states that 10% would not be affected as their income is too low. The cuts of £678,700 will be made in 2018/19.
As Cllr June Davison (the IWALC representative) explained later in the meeting, the residents who get higher allowances, “get them for a reason, that they’re needed”. She went on to say that “it seems inequitable that we can lose £700,000 on the PFI and it’s paid for by people on benefit”.
Views of the users ignored
Cllr Geoff Brodie asked the Cabinet member why she had entirely ignored the responses to the public consultation.
Cllr Mosdell responded that it had been a “very difficult” decision to bring this paper forward and that they were looking at equity across the system.
Cllr June Davison explained that as the paper had been deferred from the previous meeting it allowed town and parish councils time to discuss. She asked whether the council were looking for income streams in the right places, highlighting empty and abandoned houses.
The councillor went on to say it was important to understand that people do retire here but probably have less support than those living on the Mainland. Vulnerable people need more energy spent to keep them warm and safe and energy prices aren’t going down.
Director: Alternative “options would have been far worse”
Dr Carol Tozer (director of adult social care) told the committee that local government benefits are not means tested and that this was a very detailed piece of work carried on an individual basis. She added that report lays out, the minimum income guarantee is never, ever compromised”.
She added that they needed to find the most equitable options available so they “can make a proper contribution towards this council delivering legal and balanced budget”. Other “options would have been far worse,” she said.
Cllr Brodie proposed that the Scrutiny Committee reject paper.
The Chair seconded the proposal, adding that recommendation goes against wishes of people.
Six members voted to reject the paper, three members voted against.
The Cabinet will make their decision on Thursday, deciding whether to comply with the Scrutiny Committee’s decision or go ahead with their plans.
Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh