The Tories and Liberal Democrats have rejected significant elements of Labour’s plans to reform adult social care, outlined in today’s White Paper.
The Tories have refused to sign up to the idea of an all-party commission to determine how the proposed national care service should be funded, while the Lib Dems have said the commission would only work if it were free to consider all funding options, not just Labour’s preferred policy.
The commission would be set up after the next election under Labour’s plan, implying that a Tory government would not introduce it.
Meanwhile both opposition parties have questioned the financial credibility of the government’s proposal to introduce a national care service free at the point of delivery from 2016 onwards.
And neither backs the government’s proposal to introduce free personal care for those who have been in residential care for two years. The Tories say this would distort their own proposal to allow people to pay £8,000 into an insurance scheme to waive their residential care costs, including hotel fees.
Lib Dem shadow health secretary Norman Lamb also criticised the government’s failure to introduce fundamental funding reform in the next Parliament, adding: “A white paper without any commitment to substantial change in the next Parliament is barely worth the paper it is written on.”
He said the all-party commission, if set up, should report within a year to enable funding reform to be implemented more quickly.
Meanwhile Tory shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: “Labour have had thirteen years to sort this issue out. Their failure has caused misery for thousands of families. These proposals will do little to alleviate that suffering; thousands of people will still have to sell their family home to fund their care.”
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