Tax on disability to be abolished

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Hammersmith & Fulham Council will abolish home care charges for elderly and disabled people, it was announced last night (3 December).

Speaking at a packed public meeting organised to celebrate the United Nation’s International Day of Disabled People in Hammersmith Town Hall, H&F Council leader, Cllr Stephen Cowan, said: “I am pleased we have found the money from back office cuts, such as from the council’s PR and admin budgets, and today announce that this administration will abolish what has rightly become known as a tax on disability.”

The final decision will be voted on at the council’s annual budget-setting process in February. If approved, the changes will take effect from next April.

The council says that abolishing care charges will cost £324,000 a year in lost income but that the scheme is being funded by £400,000 cuts in PR, council publications and lamp post banners.

There are 1,266 people in H&F who need help to carry out everyday tasks, such as having a bath, cleaning or doing the shopping. H&F’s home care charges are currently paid by 313 people in H&F. The current home care charge is £12 per hour and for some residents this vital service can be as much as £281 a week.