News round up: Inheritance levy planned to fund long-term care

    Inheritance levy planned for long-term care of the elderly

    People in England and Wales could pay a one-off “inheritance levy” of up to £12,000 in return for free long-term care in their old age, under controversial government plans being drawn up to cope with the growing demands of an ageing population. The fee would either be deducted from the estates of older people when they die or paid on retirement. The aim is to replace a system that forces many pensioners to sell their family homes to fund massive nursing home bills.

    Read more on this story in The Observer

    Drugs rehab unit for young people faces closure ‘within days’

    The UK’s only remaining residential detox and rehabilitation unit for young people with serious alcohol and drug problems is facing closure this week amid concerns that local councils are withholding referrals because of cost.

    Middlegate — a specialist service based in Lincolnshire that caters for 12- to 17-year-olds in need of intensive detox and rehabilitation, often because other forms of treatment for substance misuse have failed — could close within days, its management claims.

    Read more on this story in The Guardian

    Rise in listeria food poisoning as elderly take ‘use by’ date gamble

    Older people are taking risks by eating food that is past its “use by” date, according to the Food Standards Agency. The watchdog is now concerned that the “waste not, want not” ethos of the postwar period could be linked to the rising incidence of listeria food poisoning.

    Read more on this story in The Times

    Town halls spend £50million translating documents no one reads

    More than £50 million was spent by town halls and civil servants in the last year on translating documents that hardly anyone read.

    Pamphlets for gipsies translated into Polish by Haringey council in North London failed to attract a single reader.

    Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

    Feuding couples should ‘split for children’s sake’

    Parents who stay together for the sake of their children may be doing them more harm than good, according to new research.

    Children whose mothers and fathers remain married but frequently argue do worse at school than those from secure, lone-parent families.

    Read more on this story in The Guardian

    Ed Balls warns that Labour infighting will let Tories off the hook

    Labour is in danger of handing the next general election to the Tories, who will be let “off the hook” if the party continues to engage in divisive rows, the schools secretary, Ed Balls, warns today.

    In his first major intervention since Labour’s disastrous performance in the European and local elections, Gordon Brown‘s closest cabinet ally makes a plea for unity as he calls on his party to focus on Tory plans to cut public spending.

    Read more on this story in The Guardian

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