Tag Archives: welfare reform bill

Elderly care petition could go to Parliament after gaining 130,000 signatures

Campaigners for an overhaul of the elderly care system hope to trigger a debate in Parliament after collecting more than 130,000 signatures on a petition to David Cameron.

By , Social Affairs Editor

7:00AM BST 15 May 2012

The petition, supported by more than 50 organisations working with elderly and disabled people, demands urgent action to introduce a new system of social care.

It comes amid claims of “betrayal” after last week’s Queen’s Speech which included a commitment only to a draft bill to reform the system with no mention of how care should be funded.

A white paper is due in the coming weeks to set out some aspects of how social care could be reformed.

Councils are facing a very tough decision

Councils are facing  very tough decisions

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11 May, 2012

Local government insiders have described the government’s welfare reforms as a “time bomb” for local government, and in recent weeks you may have heard a whispered countdown.

There was news that London councils were preparing to move people on their housing lists to houses many miles away because the cap on housing benefit will be insufficient to meet the rent demands of private sector landlords.

The Department for Work & Pensions also published details of what it wants from councils wishing to pilot face-to-face support work for benefit claimants moving to the new Universal Credit, including a challenging timetable and ducking the question of how or whether local government would be involved or funded in the long term.

How the ‘perfect storm of cuts’ is shrinking one woman’s life choices

Rose Fernandes’s council wants to reduce care for her autistic daughter and her mother with dementia, and a cap on housing benefit could force the family to live apart


Rose Fernandes with her daughter Crystal, who is autistic and faces having her time with a carer cut from nine hours a day to four hours a week. Photograph: Graeme Robertson

As politicians shrink the state, Rose Fernandes’s life choices dwindle. Her day is sandwiched between caring for her autistic 25-year-old daughter Crystal and her 83-year-old mother, Maria, who suffers from dementia. But since 2010, she has been caught in a whirlwind of cuts, reducing her life to a series of arguments – in and out of lawyers’ offices – to preserve her way of life.

It began two years ago when her local council in Brent, north-west London, said it wanted to reduce the number of hours it would pay a carer to look after her daughter from nine hours a day to just four hours a week. But Fernandes says the day-to-day care for Crystal is constant – she needs to be washed, dressed, fed, taken to the toilet and watched all the time because she is not aware of everyday dangers.