How the parties line up and what campaigners want from them


  • Individual budgets to boost independence, incorporating social
    care, housing support and Jobcentre services. No extra resources
    committed to deliver change.
  • National framework on NHS continuing care, though free personal
    care ruled out.
  • Merger of Healthcare Commission and Commission for Social Care
    Inspection (CSCI) by 2008.
  • 3,000 community matrons – typically district nurses – to
    case-manage people with the most serious long-term conditions.
  • Pension credit to increase in line with earnings by 2008.
    Labour says this will take 600,000 pensioners out of poverty.
  • £200 council tax discount for pensioners in 2005-6.
  • Target of eradicating fuel poverty for vulnerable groups by
  • Abolish mandatory retirement ages below 65 and give people
    right to request to work after 65.


  • Those who fully fund the first three years of their long-term
    personal care will receive free care thereafter.
  • Restore link between state pension and earnings to cut
    means-testing, funded by abolition of New Deals for young people,
    over 25s and lone parents.
  • Pension credit to rise in line with earnings until 2008.
  • 50 per cent discount worth up to £500 a year on council
    tax bills for pensioner households.
  • Slash Department of Health quangos – likely to mean merger of
    the CSCI and Healthcare Commission.


Liberal Democrats

  • Free personal care.
  • Local income tax to replace council tax.
  • Increase state pension for over 75s to increase from
    £79.60 to £109.45 a week for single people and
    £127.25 to £167.05 for couples, based on citizenship
    rather than national insurance contributions.
  • Scrap retirement ages below 65, and allow people to flexibly
    combine work and pensions.
  • Merge Healthcare Commission and CSCI.

Help the Aged

  • Free personal care.
  • Abolish mandatory retirement ages.
  • Extend disability living allowance to people over 65.
  • Increase state pension to a “decent” level.
  • Make council tax based on ability to pay.
  • Right to free central heating and home insulation for all older
  • Every older person should have a free, full-fare transport

Age Concern

  • Free personal care.
  • Increase personal expenses allowance for people in residential
    care above current £18.10 a week.
  • Improve services for older people with mental health
  • Abolish mandatory retirement ages.
  • Extend disability living allowance to those over 65.
  • Increase state pension from £79.60 to £105 a
  • Carers to have right to ask for flexible working, something
    Labour is considering.


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