Care debt waived in landmark case

A paraplegic woman, who has refused to pay Liverpool Council for
her care since 1996, had the debt waived on the morning she was due
to bring a legal challenge against the way the council charges for
home help.

Sue Ferguson, 51, from Garston in Liverpool, had refused to pay
£25 a week for her care because she said the council had not
consulted disabled people properly before the introduction of
charging. She also complained her independence had been compromised
when she was assessed according to her husband’s income.

On the morning of the judicial review, Liverpool Council agreed
to waive Ferguson’s charges, and vowed to reassess her needs as an
individual. The council is now launching a comprehensive review of
home help charges.

“It is a landmark case, and it will change things,” said Kate
Adams from campaign group Incapacity Action. “Disabled people at
grass roots are now refusing to pay, and we don’t know of any
council that will take legal proceedings against them.”

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