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This petition is about people who are often out of sight and out of mind: those people who live in care homes. It concerns the 240,000 people in our country who receive an allowance called the personal expense allowance, which amounts to just £3 a day, and which is based on national means-testing rules, which mean that those with savings of more than £22,250 have to surrender their pensions to pay for their care home fees. This allowance is going up by 75p this April to £21.90. Last year, in answer to a parliamentary question, the Minister responsible at the time, Mr. Lewis, promised a consultation on these matters, and this petition is intended to raise these issues in the House this evening.
The petition states:
The Petition of care home residents, their relatives, and others,
Declares that the over a quarter of a million of the poorest older people living in care homes are entitled to a dignified level of income; further declares that under national means-testing rules for local authorities, these people part with any income to pay towards their care home fees; notes that for older residents this means any pensions they get, and normally all they are left with is a Personal Expenses Allowances of £21.15 a week; further notes that the Personal Expenses Allowance is expected to cover the cost of all personal items not covered by the care package agreed by the local authority, including clothes and toiletries.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons calls upon Her Majesty's Government to recognise the representations of Age Concern and others and increase the Personal Expenses Allowance for people living in residential care who receive state support to at least £40 per week.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.
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