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10 February 2009

STEVENSON DELIGHTED AS THREAT OF FOOD PREPARATION CHARGES IS ENDED

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed news that no local authority in Scotland will be able to charge pensioners for help with food preparation. Following Lord Sutherland's Independent Review of Free Personal and Nursing Care last year, the Scottish Government agreed that the existing legislation on food preparation lacked clarity.

Working with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA), these regulations will clearly outlaw charging for food preparation. The previous Labour/Lib Dem administrations failed to pass robust legislation, allowing this anomaly to exist and enabling some local authorities to charge for food preparation. There is now no prospect of such a charge being introduced in Banff & Buchan.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“After years of hesitation and inaction from the previous Labour/Lib Dem administration, the SNP Government is introducing tighter legislation to ensure that all local authorities provide food preparation without charging individuals.

"Scotland's Free Personal Care policy is rightly respected and admired for providing real support and benefit to some of our more vulnerable older people. The universal nature of the Free Personal and Nursing Care policy was always intended to ensure that care is provided on a fair and equitable basis, but different approaches to food preparation charges caused significant confusion.

“This move has brought an end to the confusion and ensures that there is no prospect of such a charge being levied by Aberdeenshire Council”.
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