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Shropshire pensioners could lose out on £5 a week

By Dominic Robertson | Politics | Published:

Some pensioners receiving adult social care could lose out on £4.74 a week under council plans.

Shropshire Council

Shropshire Council wants to cut the amount of “minimum income guarantee” for pension aged people receiving adult social care by £4.74 a week for a single person and £3.35 a week for one of a couple.

It would reduce the level to £189 per week for a single person, and £144.30 per week for a member of a couple.

The move is being considered to raise another £467,000 for the council.

The authority’s cabinet is expected to approve a consultation on the changes next week.

The consultation includes two options, although the preferred option would see those in receipt of adult social care facing a reduction in the amount of money they have each week.

A report prepared for the council’s cabinet says that the move would bring the authority in line with the legal minimum.

The report states that because of financial difficulties the council must try and raise as much money as possible.

It states: “Shropshire Council, like other local authorities, is facing a significant increase in the cost of adult social care due to increasing demand, demographic pressures and rising contract costs; the cost of adult social care purchasing expenditure is forecast to increase by an average of eight per cent per year over the next five years.

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“In such circumstances it is inevitable that the council must seek to maximise its income in a fair and transparent manner.”

The council had previously set its minimum income guarantee (MIG) above the statutory minimum, as explained in the report.

It states: “Cabinet resolved in May 2016 that this council would increase its MIG rate for pension aged service users to £194.50 a week for a single pensioner and £148.50 for one of a couple.

“These were £5.50 and £4.30 a week higher respectively than the legal minimum MIG set out by the Department of Health and Social Care. For working age service users the council has always applied the statutory minimum.”

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The council report outlines the financial difficulties facing the authority.

It states: “Shropshire Council, like all other local authorities, is facing a significant increase in the cost of adult social care. Demographic change, the ageing population and increasing complexity and cost of care mean that the cost to Shropshire Council of commissioning adult social care is forecast to increase by £7m in 2018/19, and by an average of £8.3 million per year over the next five years.”

“This represents an increase in adult social care purchasing expenditure of eight per cent per year.

“The growth model for adult services has also demonstrated that the proportion of care costs that Shropshire Council is recovering from individuals for their care is reducing, as costs are increasing at a faster rate than income is being received by the council.”

A decision will be taken next Wednesday on whether to proceed to a consultation on the proposal.

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