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Last Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008, 17:01 GMT
Pledge to increase care payments
elderly woman and carer
Some 9,000 people could benefit from the increased payments
Care home residents are set to benefit from increased payments to cover the cost of free personal and nursing care.

The Scottish Government has announced the rise, due to take place in April, to take account of inflation.

Payments have remained at 145 per week for personal care and 65 per week for nursing care since their introduction in 2002.

Council umbrella group Cosla backed the change which will see the 145 rate rise by 4 and the 65 rate rise by 2.

Spokesman, Councillor Ronnie McColl, said: "The care of our elderly is of paramount importance to councils.

"We will continue to work with the Scottish Government to ensure that the policy is implemented successfully, delivering high quality personal care to older people without cost to themselves."

The Scottish Government is committed to maintaining and strengthening the provision of care
Shona Robison
Minister for Public Health

About 9,000 people will benefit from the move which will cost 2.5m each year.

This sum of money will be paid for by local authorities from the agreed local government settlement.

Minister for Public Health, Shona Robison, said the plan, which was put before parliament on Friday, was evidence of another SNP manifesto commitment fulfilled.

She added: "The Scottish Government is committed to maintaining and strengthening the provision of care and support for older people with long term care needs.

Wider review

"Today's announcements will meet our commitment to increase the payments for Free Personal and Nursing Care in line with inflation.

"If approved by parliament, this will be the first time the free personal and nursing care payments will have been increased since they were introduced in 2002."

The increase has been planned ahead of the outcome of a wider review of free personal and nursing care funding which ministers asked Lord Sutherland to chair.

This independent review is due to report to ministers in March.

SEE ALSO
Costs warning over care provision
14 Sep 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Cashback for elderly care users
19 Jul 07 |  South of Scotland
Report uncovers care spending gap
03 Jul 07 |  Scotland

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