YEP Says (Nov 27) : How will society pay to care for its most vulnerable?

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How should society care for its most vulnerable people? It is, after all, what sets us apart from from savages; what makes us human; what makes us civilized.

It’s a matter that is only going to become more challenging as our population ages, as people have to work longer (and cannot, therefore, become carers) and as NHS budgets and local authority social care budgets become ever tighter.

Let’s be clear...we all know there is no quick fix for this.

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Today we report how concerns have been raised in Leeds over the removal of a care ‘cap’ that will mean some vulnerable people having to pay up to an extra £7,200 a year for services helping them to stay at home.

Leeds City Council has revealed that in a handful of cases charges would almost double for people currently paying the £215 maximum weekly contribution.

Officers told its health scrutiny board this week that as a result charges would rise for 2,600 people, arguing that the cap had become unsustainable.

As people live longer thanks to healthy lifestyles and medical advances, this issue - the cost of caring for an ageing society - is only going to rise still further up the political agenda.

On Wednesday the Chancellor announced that town halls could raise Council Tax by 2% to pay for social care.

On the surface that seems a sensible means of ensuring society pays to help the vulnerable whatever the circumstances of individuals.

However, quite how this announcement will impact on services remains to be seen - but it is indicative of the difficult decisions that need to be made.

This issue is not going to go away.

Fitting tribute to a much-loved man

A fundraising appeal in memory of rugby league player and coach Dave ‘Batch’ Batchelor, from Leeds, has soared through the £2,000 target just days of being launched.

Fitting testament indeed to the memory of this much-loved man and the esteem in which he was held.