PLANS by Trafford Council to remove a subsidy for people receiving care at home have been branded as ‘an attack on the vulnerable’ by the Labour group.

The council wants to scrap care subsidies for anyone with more than £50,000 capital - not including houses. If approved the changes will come into force in February, and will see care bills for some spiral by almost 50 per cent.

Stretford man Phil Shawcross says he was furious when a letter arrived last week saying under the proposals outlined by the council, his 89-year-old father, Ronald, who has dementia and is incontinent, their care costs will rocket by £8,000 a year.

“Dad worked hard all his life, saved, and now he’s being penalised for it,” he told SUM.

“He’s got dementia so he’s not in a position to worry about it, but I am. Personally, I think it’s terrible. I understand there has to be cuts somewhere, but this one just doesn’t seem very well thought out. There’s a cut off point - and that’s it.

“£8,000 is a lot of money. If you put it in to context with the fuss there was about cuts to child benefit which is a lot less, you can see the concern.”

Phil’s dad currently pays £8.05 an hour for 35 hours a week of care at his Cherry Tree Walk home. The actual cost is £12.50, the council making up the difference under the current system. If the changes go ahead Phil’s dad will have to make up the shortfall.

In a statement, the council said only around 200 people would be affected, and blamed government cuts to the budget.

Corporate director of communities and wellbeing, Anne Higgins, commented: "The Government’s spending review announcements mean Trafford Council must save approximately £60 million - or 28 per cent - of its budget over the next four years. We are looking at all services and functions to see where savings can be made.

“It is not our intention to remove subsidies from anyone other than those with the highest levels of capital. We would still be providing services free to those on the lowest incomes, and at the subsidised rates for anyone under the £50,000 threshold."

But leader of Trafford’s Labour Group, Cllr David Acton said: “This Tory proposal is yet another attack on very vulnerable people to save money. This comes on top of the closure of elderly peoples homes and other cost saving measures affecting vulnerable people.

“The Tories seem to be targeting the vulnerable to make the savings at a time when they support their own pet projects, like £29m on renewing the town hall and £115,000 on a new glossy magazine.”

Labour, who unsuccessfully applied for the matter to be called in for the Scrutiny Committee, said there was the potential for ‘severe’ effect on how people were cared for.