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Carer crisis: Councils cutting vital grants for those looking after sick and disabled relatives

Carer crisis: Councils cutting vital grants for those looking after sick and disabled relatives

A cruel new wave of council cuts is axing vital grants to people who care for their disabled relatives. Respite payments, which let full-time carers take an occasional break, are a lifeline for thousands of people who look after vulnerable loved ones.

Some use the money to pay for home visits from professional carers or to take their family members to respite centres near their homes. Details of the cuts have emerged in a disturbing new report by the disability charity Mencap. It ­submitted Freedom of Information requests to 152 councils in England and Wales which reveal that half have cut respite support spending in the past year. Read more.

Nick Owens | The Mirror | 9th March 2013

David Cameron ‘not at all sure’ on extending Freedom of Information Act

The Prime Minister has said he is “not at all sure” about extending the Freedom of Information Act to private providers who are given billions of pounds of public money for services.

He was challenged by Labour MP Margaret Hodge at a House of Commons Liaison committee meeting on March 12. He was broadly challenged on two topics, ‘Protecting the public’ which focussed on the Government’s accountability and developments on Britain’s involvement in the Syrian conflict.

Keeping on message with his government’s line Cameron said he prefers transparency from public authorities and private providers operating under public contracts, rather than having to extend the Freedom of Information Act.

Hodge told the Conservative party leader that her committee needed to be easily able to follow the “taxpayers’ pound” when it is being used by  private providers increasingly providing public services including G4S, Serco, Capita and A4e. Read more.

Matt Burgess | FoI Directory | 18th March 2013

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