A FUMING son has slammed a decision to increase the amount his elderly mother pays for home care by £80 a week.

David Smith, of Dovercourt, has handled his mother’s finances since the death of his father 20 years ago.

Currently his 95-year-old mother Ivy, known as Sam to friends and family, pays £19 a week to have two carers visit her home four times a day.

They help with her day-to-day life and the service is provided by Essex County Council.

Mr Smith was left stunned when a letter arrived informing him this cost would rise to £98 a week from April.

“I received a letter citing the new amount which said if you don’t like it you can write to us – which I have done,” he said.

“Because of her age and medical conditions lots of her outgoings go into medical costs.

“They don’t take into account the £110 a month she had to pay for the gas bill – she has to have the heating on all day to keep her from freezing to death.

“I understand the council has got to find money somewhere, but it should not be from the most vulnerable people in society.

“She wants to stay in her own home, she has been there for 70 years and it means an awful lot to her.

“She doesn’t want to move to a care home.”

He added: “I am very angry, she has been through a lot.

My dad went away in the war with the RAF, he kept the Spitfires in the sky as he was an extremely clever mechanic.

“I am certain he would be appalled by the way things are going for my mother.

“He served his country, he never received welfare – why shouldn’t she be looked after?”

In its 2017/18 budget, Essex County Council announced it would be looking to save £55million from the adult social care bill.

Ivan Henderson, Harwich councillor, said this “cut” would have a devastating impact on the most vulnerable residents living in Essex.

“The Essex County Council administration chose to freeze council tax for the last six or seven years which has left them £100million short of what they could have had,” he said.

“If they had increased council tax by the capped amount – nearly 2 per cent – instead of freezing it, they would have had £100million.

“They are saving £55million through cuts to adult social care provision and the consequences are here for all to see.

"The impact of these cuts will hit the most vulnerable in our community.”

Dick Madden, councillor responsible for children and adults, said: “Essex County Council continues to face unprecedented financial challenges in social care and so we must act responsibly on behalf of all of our residents.

“We signalled our intention to introduce some additional charges for some people receiving support in December last year.

“These charges are in line with what many other councils across the country have already introduced.”

He added: “For some people already receiving care the contribution they make to their costs will go up, and some people may need to start paying for care for the first time.

“We do realise that this will be of concern to some people, like Ivy and her son David, and so any one wishing to discuss their situation will be able to ring our special help line. 

"I urge any one with concerns to contact us on 0800 085 8176.”