Queen’s speech pledge made at expense of ‘tight local government budgets’

At last week’s meeting of the Council, Cllr Rolson Davies Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Services explained the likely impact of the Government’s Queens Speech proposals for ‘personal care at home’ bill on local authorities such as Kingston.

“The Government is undertaking a consultation on their Personal Care at Home bill and looks like they will be fast tracking this piece of legislation to offer critical health patients free personal care in the home.

“While this sounds like a good and decent pledge to make when Government departments have funds to spare, I am concerned that the Labour Party is continuing to make expensive policy on the hoof.

“They have not thought through the ramifications of this bill on current social care arrangements, and local council tax payers will have to pick up the tab for a policy which seems to have been designed solely to win votes in an election year.”

The annual costs of the scheme nationally have been estimated by Government at £670million with £250million of the bill ‘palmed off’ onto the tightly managed budgets of local authorities in a difficult economic climate.

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