A heath cut you may not have heard of, yet…

Looks like a modest, but on the face of it genuine scoop from our blogger of the year, Nevin Taggart… The Minister plans to regularise payments of ‘rewards to people with Learning Difficulties, by withdrawing them all over a three year period… Hmmm, cute. Eh?

, ,

  • a carer

    Oh we’ve heard of it mick, and if I’m not mistaken I discussed this before on slugger…? In my area it is not £5 but £4 and many of the day centres have already discussed this with their clients and their carers. As a carer I was told that the saving of this money would go toward a new staff member or something ‘of equal importance’. But thats not the end of it, I heard too that the buses which carry our loved ones to and from their centres are also in the spotlight.

    I’d heard that they want to change things and get rid of the buses and do things here as they’d do them in Europe, particularly the spanish model.

    Most people now with a LD are empowered to make their own decisions via user councils in the day centres, and these issues have been discussed, but in many ways as an observer to these councils I feel these decisions while being given the respectability of discussion are in fact being rail roaded and imposed upon people.

    They don’t want to lose this money, it means an awful lot. John McCart who is over the Belfast LD centres is determined to strip this money away from the vulnerable, he claims it is in the interests of all.

    There has already been u turns by those who would like to take this money for their own purposes, and I do sincerely feel the other blogger is out of date, as it was my understanding that the money would not be taken. Mind you they could be feeding us a load of bull……

  • Pigeon Toes

    Have discussed this with a few people, and whilst I don’t know the full story, the initial reaction was that it was some kind of issue surrounding whether a challenge could be made about this allowance being made in return for work undertaken.

    If so, then it would flout the minimum wage regulations….

    A problem which I believe the MCA have , in that they have “paid volunteers”, which makes things a bit tricky under employment legislation.

    Well when I say “paid”, I mean they get the minimum wage when they are performing a rescue…

  • Carer, I don’t know how long ago the note was issued but the closing date for submission of views was very recent.

    Has the topic been aired in the mainstream media?

  • Pigeon Toes

    Given that the Health Boards have already decided to withdraw the “allowance”, I should imagine that
    the views of those affected will hardly matter (in keeping with most “consultations with stakeholders”).

  • I can find no mention of these proposals in government press releases.

    However, I did find the following in a deleted Cornwall County Council document from 2006 on ‘incentives’:

    “Legal advice is that whilst it very much depends on individual circumstances, it is not inconceivable that the nature of some of the relevant arrangements currently in place might possibly be perceived to have employment connotations, in which case the individuals may become entitled to all statutory rights.

    It is not just a question of ceasing the current practice. It would be necessary to review the arrangements to ensure that individuals undertaking placements such as these will not inadvertently be
    Page 2
    perceived as deemed employees of the County Council, whilst undertaking voluntary day time placements.”

  • Carer

    Has the topic been aired in the mainstream media?

    It has Nevin. It was on the Nolan show a while back. More than once too, I think, because I distinctly remember there was a meeting in one of NI’s rural communities and it was hugely attended, and the health minister put a stay on things shortly after that.

    I know we had a meeting in Belfast but I was unable to attend as my family member was sick, but I heard there’d been no change, and the odd rumblings about it are still going on, but the money has stayed put.

  • Thanks, carer. Perhaps the Minister’s ‘stay’ has not percolated to all day centres.