Monday, 29 February 2016

Another Swipe at the Elderly - Government to Scrap Attendance Allowance

This government has no interest in the welfare of the old, so it is not surprising George Osborne is now proposing to scrap the attendance allowance paid to pensioners who need domestic help to enable them to hang on in their own homes. 
Please sign the petition against it  -  you never know, there might be a miracle.
What is attendance allowance?
We are talking about a relatively small amount of pension top-up for those who are getting too frail to completely care for themselves.

An example would be the 93-year-old father of a friend of mine. Not surprisingly at his advanced age he suffers with Alzheimer's. He was awarded the lower rate, which is only £55 per week. Apart from his state pension, that is the only "benefit" he has ever had. He still pays tax on his company pension, so he is only getting his own money back. His daughter has to do nearly everything for him and her mother. She has to go through their finances making sure they are not ripped off. For example despite his bills being paid by direct debit, the electricity company sent him statements which he thought were bills, so he paid them as well! It took her three months to get them to repay the money. His wife can't walk far now. He can walk but it wouldn't be safe for someone with Alzheimer's to go far from his home, so they need to have the shopping done for them.

The £55 per week allowance means that this old couple can afford a helper for few hours and that means they can stay out of a "home". Surely it is far cheaper than the local council having to look after them.

It is not true that everything is being cut under this regime of "austerity". The government is prepared to find billions for other things, but not for the comfort, dignity and safety of the older generation who worked and paid tax into the system all their lives.

This is not a simple matter of "austerity" - it's a matter of wrong priorities.


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