A COUNCILLOR last night defended care fee hikes which will see vulnerable people paying up to 60% more.
Kirklees Council’s Cabinet yesterday approved the increases to help cope with the public spending squeeze from central government.
The Labour Cabinet agreed the following rises, which will come into force on August 1:
People with learning disabilities who live in residential care homes will pay 58% more for their day care, with the price rising from £4.30 a day to £6.80
Day care for people with learning disabilities who live in their own home will increase 39% from £6.40 a day to £8.90
Older people’s day care charges will rise 32% from £7.80 a day to £10.30
Day care fees for people under-65 with physical disabilities will go up from £6.40 a day to £8.90, a hike of 32%
Home care charges will increase from £9.25 an hour to £10.25, a rise of 10%
The maximum amount any person can be charged for care will go up by 10% from £185 a week to £205
Transport to day care, which was previously free, will cost £1 per journey
Care phone service to increase 7% from £3.55 per week to £3.80
Groups representing disabled people and the elderly condemned the rises in yesterday’s Examiner.
But the council’s Cabinet member Clr Molly Walton said the Government was to blame for the price increases.
Speaking at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting at Crown Court Buildings, she said: “We’ve had to reduce the subsidy to our care service because of the ongoing reductions from Westminster. We’re going to be faced with a lot of unpleasant things like this over the next few years.”
The Crosland Moor and Netherton Labour woman added that many of the 2,500 people using the council’s care services would not be affected by the increases.
She said: “There are still 40% of people who don’t pay anything towards their care.”
Clr Walton said “a very small proportion” of people paid the maximum of £185 a week. It is believed the number is fewer than 10.