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Glasgow Disability Alliance Project

Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA) is a thriving Disabled People’s Organisation with over 5,500 members. A group of GDA women are involved in a collaborative project with the Scottish Women’s Budget Group (SWBG) looking at the impact of the cost of living crisis on disabled women. The project has used gender budgeting tools to look at how structural inequalities impact disabled women; how the current cost of living crisis is exacerbating theses inequalities; and how the actions taken to address the crisis are impacting.

We have held a number of in-person and online sessions looking at how gender stereotypes and norms impact on disabled women. As well as to understand how decisions taken at local & national level are impacting on disabled women and to identify areas to look at before deciding on focusing on the cost-of-living crisis. We have used a variety of methods to explore this including an online survey, photovoice and using art.

The findings show that disabled women continue to feel the strain of the situation created by the pandemic while simultaneously experiencing the unequal impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

A copy of the initial briefing report is here along with an example of the art work created: 


Non-residential Social Care Charges 

Following on from our report with Glasgow Disability Alliance we have written to the Leader of Glasgow Council and the Chief Officer of the Health & Social Care Partnership as follows:

Glasgow Disability Alliance and Scottish Women's Budget Group have been working together to look at Disabled Women's experiences of the Cost of Living Crisis.  One of the issues identified was the impact the increase in repayment for non-residential social care charges from 50% to 75% from April 2023 was having on women. 

63% who are paying social care charges told us they struggled to manage these and 26% were having to make changes to other household expenditure to manage these costs. 

We are urging you to ensure that Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Health & Social Care Partnership review the implementation of this policy as our evidence demonstrates not only that the policy could be discriminatory but that it is most likely causing and certainly exacerbating increased poverty for disabled households with children.

The income levels set are potentially age discriminatory with a level for under 60s and over 60s. In response to a recent FOI request (FOI8108530) we submitted we were told:

'The Council does not set the minimum income threshold levels and the capital and savings levels, as these amounts are set by the Scottish Government.' 

COSLA guidance on these charges states that having variable rates should be considered by each Council within the context of the Equality Act 2010 and indeed other councils in Scotland have moved away from this approach.  COSLA also states 'There is no legal ‘duty’ placed on Local Authorities and Integration Authorities to charge for social care support at home’. This clearly suggests that the FOI assertion that Glasgow City Council is not responsible, is factually incorrect. For this reason we are asking for clarification, particularly in relation to the assessment the council made to objectively justify the lower levels for under 60’s. 

An Equality Impact Assessment was presented to the Health and Social Care Partnership in relation to the increase in the amount those receiving non-residential care would have to pay. This set out that introducing this increase would require a 'Change to financial assessment to consider disability related expenditure from the outset' as part of the mitigations for this change.  However, based on the response to our FOI, we have concerns about the way in which this is being implemented: of 1591 financial assessments carried out so far in 23-24, only 22 have taken into account Disability Related Expenditure, (DRE). Further concerns about equality impact are evidenced in that, despite the majority of those in receipt of this care being female, of the 22 taking account of DRE, 15 were male.

In light of the information set out above and in the context of both abundant evidence about disabled people’s heightened poverty at this time and Glasgow’s own anti-poverty approaches, we are urging Glasgow City Council and the Health and Social Care Partnership to:

  • Review the implementation of this policy from an equalities perspective, in particular reviewing the variable rates for under 60s and over 60s.
  • Carry out an analysis of the impact of the increase in charges to identify how this has impacted on the decisions people make about their care, from the FOI response it appears that current systems do not allow impact to be full monitored. It is important that this is reviewed in relation to how this is impacting on:
    • individuals,
    • Glasgow’s wider policy commitments such as addressing Child Poverty and Violence Against Women and Girls,
    • unpaid carers
    • other services including community and third sector organisations.
  • Review the way in which financial assessments are carried out including the assessment of Disability Related Expenditure and how this is communicated to assessing officers as well as to those requiring care.  
  • Consider the impact that using the DWP levels as thresholds for income levels has on addressing poverty including child poverty - Scottish Government Guidance on this states:

“Although the 2002 Act provides powers for the Scottish Government to regulate charging for non-residential care services, the Scottish Government has not exercised this power. This enables local authorities to set charges taking into account local circumstances, and supporting local accountability.”

·      Use the development of the EQIA for the changes to this policy to identify learning for officers and elected members in ensuring that due regard is taken as required by the Public Sector Equality Duty.

non residential social care charges concerns


Related publications

SWBG & GDA Briefing Paper

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