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5th July 2013

Extra funding for councils to maintain £50-a-week home care costs cap

The Welsh Health Minister and Deputy Minister for Social Services have agreed to provide an additional £3.2 million a year to local authorities in Wales to ensure that the £50-a-week cap on home care charges remains sustainable for the future.

The cap was introduced in April 2011 but since then local authorities have reported an increase in the number of people receiving services for which a charge could be levied. Inflation has also affected the cost of providing the home care services for eligible vulnerable people.

The Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas, said: "I am conscious of ensuring that our First Steps Improvement Package - of which the cap was part - remains sustainable and does not become an untenable financial pressure on local authorities. The Health Minister and I are providing additional funding to ensure this does not occur.  

“The £50 maximum charge has now been set for over two years with over 5,250 service users a year benefitting, around 30% of those charged. During this time, however, inflation has affected the cost of service provision, while greater demand for services and changes in welfare benefits have also increased costs for local authorities in operating the cap on fees. 
“I intend to revise the weekly maximum charge from April 2014 to take account of changes. I also intend to consider the wider impact and level of the maximum charge from April 2015 to ensure it remains sustainable in the longer term."
She added: “I hope this will assure service users and local authorities of the Welsh Government’s commitment to maintaining a maximum weekly charge for home care and other non-residential social services.”



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