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Welsh care groups call for free home care

4th July 2006

A lobby group in Wales will today call for a re-instigation of Labour's promise to make home care free for the elderly and disabled.

A manifesto pledge to give free personal care was made by the Labour party during the last Welsh assembly election, but an announcement was made in February that the policy would be withdrawn.

The Coalition against Charging Cymru is lobbying for the current personal care charging system to be abolished as a matter of urgency, because they say it promotes inequality.

The experience of Scotland has been cited as opposition for the policy, as demand there rose once home care became free.

Health Minister Brian Gibbons said that although he understood the group's concerns, a £76 million package had been launched to target disabled people on low incomes who currently pay for care.

Help the Aged, Disability Wales and Carers Wales are members of the Coalition against Charging Cymru.

"On the strength of one flawed report the minister decided he was unable to implement this much-needed and promised pledge," said coalition chair Rhian Davies.

"As a coalition we, and the people we represent, call on the minister to find the political will and drive to end the injustice of charging in Wales."