The government has refused to back a private member’s bill to provide short breaks for families with disabled children, which will receive its second reading today.
However, it will bring forward proposals on short breaks in this year’s comprehensive spending review, according to care services minister Ivan Lewis.
Lewis told BBC radio that the proposals would be published “in a matter of months” as part of the CSR but he added that the government would not support the Disabled Children (Family Support) Bill on cost grounds.
The bill, tabled by Conservative MP Gary Streeter, imposes duties on local authorities and health agencies to provide the breaks. Lewis said it would place an “uncosted commitment on local authorities”.
Jo Williams, chief executive of Mencap, which is backing the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign, said that the campaign was “extremely disappointed” that the government would not be supporting the bill.