Liverpool council is to challenge the government in the courts
over its funding of those already in care who had previously been
funded by the benefit system.
The council is to seek a judicial review over the way money has
been allocated after local authorities took responsibility for the
funding of people who had been entitled to preserved rights benefit
rates of income support because they were resident in nursing and
residential care homes when the community care policy was
introduced in 1993.
Numerous councils have claimed that central government has
underestimated the amount needed to cover their new
responsibilities, but Liverpool is understood to be the first
council in the country to initiate legal action.
The council said it found itself with a £1.63 million
shortfall when it became responsible for an additional 800 older
people following the transfer of people with preserved rights in
Dr Jeremy Chowings, executive member for social care and health,
said: “This needs to be sorted out because it’s about the care of
people. We’re still hoping we might not get to the point of full
blown legal action.”
He said the council was currently working within its community
care budget, but expected “difficult decisions” to have to be made
before the end of the financial year.
The department of health said it will fight any action.