Campaign by Midlands TUC Pensioners Network – SUCCESS!
The campaign succeeded and government dropped its plans.
“Addressing the Local Government Association councillors’ forum today, Sajed Javid confirmed the localisation of … (attendance allowance) … was ‘not being considered as part of business rate reforms’.”
Municipal Journal 19th January
Letter that was sent to MPs:
I am concerned about what I hear about proposals to make local authorities responsible for Attendance Allowance. Older people who become disabled in later life value Attendance Allowance. It helps them retain their independence since they can use it meet their own needs without having to rely on Adult Social Care.
Many older people are put off claiming for things because doing so can seem so complicated and intrusive. It is helpful that, unlike other benefits, Attendance Allowance is not means tested and there is no requirement for a medical assessment.
It worries me that, if Attendance Allowance is paid by cash-strapped councils, they may be forced to make cuts and differences may arise between one place and another either with criteria for getting the benefit or the rate at which it is paid.
Also, I am shocked by how the government has gone about this. They said last December that they would consult on devolving responsibility for Attendance Allowance in England to councils. Now, they have launched their consultation by hiding it on page nineteen of a document mainly about business rates.1
I appreciate the government has given undertakings that existing claimants will not be affected and that there will be further consultation if any changes are proposed.2 Nevertheless, I think the government has put the cart before the horse. I feel strongly that the needs of disabled older people come first and how to arrange local government finance comes second, not the other way round, don’t you?
As my Member of Parliament, please pass on my concerns to the relevant minister and please tell me your own opinion on this subject.