Abolish Social Care Charges

SACT Campaign launches paper showing why social care charges are unjust

What Would It Cost To Abolish Social Care Charges In Scotland?


Scotland Against the Care Tax is a campaigning coalition which is seeking the end of local authority community care charges in Scotland.  Such charges are made to provide home and day care, mainly to disabled adults, although some child and elderly care may also be chargeable.    It is our contention that these charges are a highly inefficient tax that have a number of hidden consequences that are often overlooked in discussions over what it would cost to end. 

This paper is a speculative exploration of what these additional consequences might be.  We believe that the actual cash amount raised is only the first part of the calculation.  In addition there are the high costs of collection, the cost of emergency care for those who decline preventative services because of the level of charges, and the lost income from those who cannot work.  We also believe that the costs of abolition needs to take into account any extra demand for social care that might arise if more people request social care once there is no charge.   

Our calculations suggest that the actual cost of abolishing care charges is actually less than half of the amount taken off disabled people – only £22 million instead of the £50 million charged to disabled people. 

But a second element to the calculation suggests that there might be net gain if we take into account the wider changes as a result of abolishing care charges.  With more people going to work and additional spending by disabled people, there could be a net gain of £5million per year. 

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