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Last Updated: Monday, 5 February 2007, 16:55 GMT
1.5m budget for free care claims
Elderly man - generic
A budget has now been set aside for care claims from the elderly
A budget of 1.5m has been set aside to repay Dumfries and Galloway pensioners wrongly charged for their care.

The council's finance sub-committee has earmarked the cash for those charged for meal preparation under the Scottish Executive's free personal care policy.

Council convener Tommy Sloan said it was not right that old people should suffer due to a "misinterpretation".

The Labour administration has now incorporated the figure into its financial plans for the year ahead.

Community services chairman Willie Scobie said the 1.5m was a "reasonable estimate" of what the council might owe.

Financial arrangement

The authority's convener said he was pleased to see the financial arrangement being made.

"Older people should not suffer financially for what had been a misinterpretation," said Mr Sloan.

Galloway and Upper Nithsdale Tory MSP Alex Fergusson, a long-time campaigner for a payment refund, welcomed the move.

He called on the council to make repayments to pensioners as soon as "humanly possible".

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