Councils must not cut back on help for the elderly or disabled just to save money, judges warned in late May 2012.
The Supreme Court judgment comes as thousands of vulnerable people are being denied home care packages because of stricter criteria used to decide who qualifies.
The Judges said that councils must not take the state of their own finances into account when they decide how much help someone with ill-health or a limiting condition needs. Elderly people must not lose out because of shortfalls in council finances, according to the court ruling.
The ruling was hailed by lawyers and charities as a key step towards ensuring that the disabled and elderly get correct treatment and do not lose out because a council is trying to save cash. Legal precedents dating back to the 1990s had opened the possibility that councils could cut back on care packages on the grounds that the authorities do not have enough money. Supreme Court judges said that councils should put vulnerable people first.
Solicitors Irwin Mitchell represented 4 charities in this case.
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Dated: 31/5/2012 Case ID: UKSC 2011/0145