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SNP accused of lying over Frank’s Law funding

Amanda Kopel with a Frank's Law t-shirt at Tannadice
Amanda Kopel with a Frank's Law t-shirt at Tannadice

The widow of ex Dundee United player Frank Kopel has accused the SNP government of lying to her after it emerged funds for the free personal care policy in his name is not guaranteed.

Mr Kopel was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 59 and had to pay £300 a week for carers because free support was only available to over 65s.

His wife Amanda campaigned for six years to introduce Frank’s Law which would extend free personal care to those under the age of 65.

The law came into force on April 1 2019, but ministers have now admitted £30 million of funding for it is not ring-fenced, and can therefore be used by councils to pay for other things in their budget.

Ms Kopel said it makes a “total mockery” of her campaign.

‘Total mockery’ of Frank’s Law campaign

Ms Kopel said ministers promised her the money “would not, and could not, be used for any other purpose” when they agreed to the policy.

Speaking to The Times, she said: “This makes a total mockery of the six-year campaign battle for Frank’s Law.

“The buck stops with the Scottish Government, no matter what excuse it comes up with.

“Ministers need to explain why I was misled in this way, or dare I say it even lied to.

“The battle for Frank’s Law may have been won but, given this revelation, the war is still ongoing.”

Government ‘committed’ to policy

Social care minister Kevin Stewart said Frank’s Law is “not formally ring-fenced” but local authorities were advised “how the funding should be utilised”.

Kevin Stewart MSP
Kevin Stewart MSP

Mr Stewart added: “The 2019/20 Scottish budget included a £29.5m provision for implementing the Scottish Government’s commitment to extend free personal care to all those under 65 where there is an assessed need.

“We have put in place the changes in the law that are needed to guarantee this right, and backed this with substantial investment to health and social care partnerships so it can be delivered, even with potentially substantial increases in the numbers of people who are eligible.

“Overall, this funding package is subject to a set of conditions agreed within the local government finance settlement.

“Local authorities have a statutory responsibility to ensure that personal care is no longer charged to the individual.”

Frank’s Law: SNP urged to act on ‘very low’ uptake of free personal care

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