United Kingdom divided as Scotland introduces free personal care for elderly people
A two tier system of care for elderly people was introduced in the United Kingdom's national health service last month when Scotland starts providing free personal care for those aged over 65.
From 1 July, people in Scotland who are assessed as requiring personal and nursing care will have their costs met by the state if they live at home and will receive payments of £145-£210 ($216-$313; a225-a327) a week, depending on their needs, if they are in care homes.
It will leave elderly people in Scotland better off than those in the rest of the United Kingdom, where personal care will continue to be means tested. People with assets of more than £11 500 have to pay a proportion of the costs whereas those with assets of £18 500 or more--which can include the family home--have to pay the full amount.
The financial burden facing older people in paying