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Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Scotlands Health Secretary no less...

Well, I've been busy ...again!

I got the chance to speak to the Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon yesterday and pose a question about a Carer I did!!

I asked her about the recent changes to the Direct Payment system in Scotland which are about employing family members.
I explained how our Local Authority seem to be implememting the legislation to their advantage and not to the benefit of the Carers.
Basically they're saying they won't allow it any more and as there's a Local Authority discretion clause they are getting away with it, well for now anyway!

Nicola said it was not the intention of the Government to make employing a family member more difficult and she seemed quite sympatheric to the cause and took my letter back to Edinburgh with her.

I'm hopeful she will look into this as if you live in a rural area or the help you need is a bit taxing for the average care worker, it's probably essential you can continue to employ a family member or chances are you'll never get any respite at all!!

I guess time will tell!

I have enjoyed the hussle and bussle of last week but I'm kinda glad it's going to be a bit quieter next week as I will need to don the hard hat and flap jacket again to cope with the Christmas Shopping run...Joy to the world!

There's always something isn't there!!

maz x


Tilly said...

Fantastic Maz - good for you!

My view is that many of the people in the LA and PKAVS take negative decisions on direct payments because that is easier than taking a pro-active decision. I'm not sure that they themselves know the ramifications of the law with regard to Disclosure Checks, and employer/employee liabilty - which makes family carers so worthwhile. You are hardly likely to sue your family because you fell/hurt your back etc.

I spoke to the Inland Revenue about registering as a self-employed carer - and the IR sent me a copy of a letter that was written to a Scottish Executive employee on the same issue - to the effect that it is for the Inland Revenue to decide who is self-employed and who is not, not the carer, nor the family/person who retains the carer, nor the LA...The word is that the IR take the view that Direct Payments is open to abuse (read fiddle).

It's a poor joke when you think that EVEN if you qualify for a Carer's Allowance (and many of us don't because it's based on gross, not net pay per week), the carer's allowance is a pathetic pittance of a payout that wouldn't keep a gnat.

Time for the Carer's Revolution I think! Most of us try to live by values that this government seeks to promote - but we are made the poorer for it. What kind of message is that to pass on to the kids? The "sentence" of caring ( I know we don't see it that way) is tread - it shouldn't have poverty at the end of it as well. And LAs should get used to the idea that we pay, have paid our taxes too, so therefore we are their employers!!!

Carry on the campaigning Maz and have a great Christmas! Tillyx

maz said...

Cheers Tilly, you too!

'slainte mhath' pronounced?

slanj-e vah - Scots for Good Health

maz x