Scotland Against the Care Tax is a campaign to end the injustice of community care charging. Care charging covers a range of services from personal care in your own home to care in a day centre.

While we welcome the Scottish Government plans to extend Free Personal Care to all adults who require social care from 2019, it will not solve all the problems caused by charging.

Personal Care includes assistance with dressing, feeding, washing and toileting, as well as advice, encouragement and emotional and psychological support.

It does not include help with housework, laundry, shopping, or services out with your home such as day care centres or lunch clubs.

As a result, millions of pounds will continue be taken from disabled people who can barely afford it.

The intention of this policy may be further undermined by the mechanisms used to implement it.

For example, unless the Scottish Government limits rises in other social care charges, local councils may seek to raise charging levels on those areas not covered by the Personal Care policy. This year we have seen many areas raise the level of charges in their budgets.

For us, looking at this issue from a human rights perspective ending charging for personal care falls far short of what is required.

The only way to achieve meaningful equality is for community care charging to be completely abolished.

We believe this insidious ‘Care Tax’ is a burden placed on disabled people where they have to pay for the social care support they require to exercise their duties and responsibilities as full and equal members of society.

Disabled people already pay local and national taxes for the upkeep of public services.

Care charges are double-taxation that drives many into poverty, debt and denies them their human rights.

Now we have learned that COSLA is proposing to delay the implementation of the Personal Care policy until 2021.

If the Scottish Governments ends up delaying this policy at COSLA’s request then once again disabled people will be denied their human rights. This is not the Scotland that our citizens should expect in 2018.

Ian Hood, Vice Chair

Scotland Against the Care Tax