Minister sticks by care charges pledge

Welsh assembly health and social services minister Jane Hutt has
confirmed that work on implementing the commitment to scrap home
care charges for disabled people is progressing.

Hutt insisted that the policy would be implemented at a meeting
with representatives of the Disability Rights Commission, following
the leaking of a policy-briefing note.

The note suggested that there were legal difficulties with the
implementation of policy and that statutory guidance to deliver
free home care for disabled people could be seen as fettering local
authorities’ discretion under existing legislation to charge for

Currently councils are allowed to charge for home care services and
cannot be ordered by the assembly to provide them freely.

Hutt told representatives of Disability Wales that the flagship
policy, which was one of Labour’s key election pledges, would go
ahead. An advisory group will be convened in the New Year to work
on the detail.

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