Disabled hardest hit by Redbridge Council cuts says charity

PUBLISHED: 07:43 26 January 2018

A charity is unhappy with a consultation about charging. Picture: Andrew Matthews

A charity is unhappy with a consultation about charging. Picture: Andrew Matthews

PA Wire/PA Images

Disabled people in Redbridge are being the hardest hit by budget cuts a charity has claimed.

Redbridge Council launched a consultation about charging policies and One Place East have called it “disappointing”.

The charity said it recognises the budget constraints on the local authority by national government and that tough decisions need to be made in light of austerity, but said it is unfair that deaf, disabled people and their carers are bearing the brunt.

They stated that numerous research papers show that disabled people are losing support to enable them to take part

in community life, go out to work and see friends and family.

“Many disabled people and carers in Redbridge have already been significantly disadvantaged by welfare reforms and cuts to social care,” said Jon Abrams of One Place East.

“Redbridge’s proposed charging policy, therefore, will leave even more people with an income and savings which is insufficient to cover the additional costs of impairment and ill-health.

“We are also concerned that higher charges will serve to deter people from accessing social care services and this will result in greater costs to the public purse including more admissions to residential, nursing homes and hospitals.”

“Hammersmith and Fulham Council have abolished all charges for home care services for disabled and older people and we hope Redbridge Council will follow suit.”

Councillor Mark Santos, cabinet member for health and social care said Redbridge, like the vast majority of local authorities, has no option but to make a charge.

“This is not least because government funding to the borough has reduced by 40per cent since 2010 (some £125million),” he said.

“We have a situation of growing population who need support and reducing resources to fund it.

“We undertake a financial assessment with everyone accessing social care and this means that some people don’t have to pay or will only have to make a contribution to their care as they do not have the means to do so.”

Councillor Santos said the real issue lies with the Conservative government who are not “taking their responsibilities seriously” and they need to “step up” to protect vulnerable residents.

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