Magazine article Public Finance

Study Finds Huge Disparities in Council Home Care Charges

Magazine article Public Finance

Study Finds Huge Disparities in Council Home Care Charges

Article excerpt

Councils in Wales are charging widely different amounts for home care services and using different financial assessments to decide who pays, a report has found.

The Welsh Assembly Government commissioned economics consultancy LE Wales to research charges for non-residential social care services as it prepares an Assembly measure on the issue.

Its report, published on May 8 after consultation, found that hourly charges for home care varied from £5.60 to £15.32, with day care services free in seven authorities. Day charges varied from £1.50 to £88.33.

Authorities were also disregarding differing proportions of income or benefits in financial assessments.

Deputy Minister for Social Services Gwenda Thomas said the report provided conclusive evidence of the anomalies and inconsistencies' in the present system and reaffirmed that the Assembly Government was right to push ahead with a measure to address the issue. …

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