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Cash details lacking for care service

The Labour manifesto fails to answer questions over how it will fund a national care service.

It says Labour will set up a national care service commission to look at financing. Funding will hinge on a compulsory levy but the manifesto does not give details of how the levy would be applied.

The first phase of the care plans is to offer 400,000 people with the greatest needs free care at home from 2011 – to be funded through savings and efficiencies in the health budget and in local government. The second phase is to cap costs of residential care to protect homes and savings from care charges after two years-to be funded through the freeze on inheritance tax thresholds, through people over state pension age staying in work and efficiencies across the NHS and the care system.

But Labour stops short of providing funding details for the final phase – a comprehensivenational care service for every adult with an eligible care need from 2015 – leaving this to be decided by the commission.

CBK principal Peter Wright says: “Labour is not giving the public any confidence.” Symponia joint-managing director Janet Davies says “Either
Gordon Brown does not have a clue or he is just buying time.”

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