11:16am Thursday 10th July 2014
WHAT an absolutely appalling misleading and wrong headline the Western Telegraph chose for “Plans to reduce day care centre charges”
(Western Telegraph July 2, p10).
There are currently no charges for attendance at Pembrokeshire Day Centres, so how can charges possibly be reduced?
A proposal earlier this year was to charge users of elderly and handicapped day centres an absolutely unbelievable £23.70 a day, but that proposal was, quite rightly, rescinded. That is however old news, done and dusted, and reported in Western Telegraph in April.
The situation as is now is that users of day centres pay nothing for attendance, therefore the suggestion of proposing a charge of “a more modest”
£10 per day is actually an increase of 1000% - if you can have a percentage increase on nothing - not a reduction as the headline would have readers believe.
When the £23.70 per day charge was proposed (that’s a massive £1,232.40p a year if attending one day a week) people said they could understand a token charge of £5 per day being made but £10 is rather excessive (£520 a year to be found from low incomes) bearing in mind that there is a further charge of £4.34 for lunch making it an expensive day out.
I would also suggest that this token payment is not used as a cash cow to milk every year with an annual increase like the ridiculously high prescription charges in England.
These proposed charges must not be entered into without very serious consideration of the vulnerable elderly and handicapped people (and their carers) that they will adversely affect.
Do these people not deserve a little charity for a day of hwyl a clonc with friends which is very often the highlight of their week - a highlight that might have to be forgone if too high a charge is set, and that does nobody any good.
Councillors please think and vote with compassion for these vulnerable and often lonely people who deserve society’s help.
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