Direct payments ­ a privatisation too far?

Posted on December 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

|By Jef Smith| The widespread use of the Freedom Pass, the little card which gives people of pensionable age free travel on public transport throughout the Greater London area, demonstrates daily the health benefits which flow from increased mobility. Nevertheless, this and similar ­ slightly less generous ­ schemes throughout the country still provoke the occasional objection, usually from unreformed car drivers or inveterate stay-at-homes, that they infringe the right to independence and choice. These extreme libertarians if given the chance will denounce socialism, the nanny state and probably David Blunket too, but the heart of their case is summed up as “Just give me the money and I¹ll spend it how I want to”. Put like that, their point of view comes close to the argument made by the people with physical disabilities ­ mostly adults below retirement age rather than elderly people ­ who campaigned, powerfully and eventually successfully, for the Government to introduce direct payments. The idea for a

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