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Dodging the detail

Described by some as a half-way house between fact, fiction and fairy-land, chapter six of yesterday’s manifesto was somewhat heavy on the word count but considerably light on detail.

Delivering his party manifesto, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Labour will push ahead with its plans to reform social care in England but he failed to fully disclose how his proposed National Care Service will be funded.

While he elaborated on how plans to offer 400,000 people with the greatest needs free care at home will be funded, and how savings will be protected from care charges,  he did not reveal how a NCS roll-out will be paid for. What he did confirm was that a National Care Service Commission will be set up to establish a fair and sustainable way of funding its plans to offer social care, which will involve a compulsory levy.

Partnership managing director of care Chris Horlick says three points are worth making here.

He says: “First, the funding commission hasn’t determined yet how the NCS will be funded in whole or part. For example there are a range of options including an important role for the private sector. Second, irrespective of the funding options considered, it will take at least 8-10 years to introduce an NCS.

“Third, and perhaps the most important is ensuring clarity among voters about what will actually be paid for by any future Government. Far too many people think that when their care costs are met free at the point of need – that this includes residential care costs. It may not – and without understanding what is actually being funded – people approaching retirement or in retirement will not be able to prepare themselves adequately for it.”

Symponia joint-managing director Janet Davies says many voters know that the current system is unfair and politicians know that adult social care is a political hot-potato and potential vote winner.

But her big concern is that after the general election social care will be tossed to the bottom of the pile.

She says: “What is very sad and far more unfair than missing facts is that the subject only ever crops up near election time. The same subject was top of the political manifesto back in 1997 when Tony Blair promised that no house would have to be sold to fund care, now some 13 years later nothing has really changed and the same-old-same-old is being spouted.”


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There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Tony and his successor are about as genuine as a £3 note. Nothing new there.

  2. Anne MacKintosh 13th April 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Why do we spend more on prisoners and their creature comforts than we spend on our old people and those in genuine need? If I was in power, I would ensure that prisoners paid their debt to society without the comforts of TV computers etc and make them work for these things.

    I also feel strongly that if you havent bothered to put in place financial arrangements to ensure comfort in your old age, why should those people who have not, get so much more help than those who have?

    No wonder a lot of people on lower incomes spend all their money rather than saving for a pension when they see those who have not getting so much financial and other, assistance.

    If everybody had to save for their old age so much the better.

  3. The main complaint seems to be the state failing to pick up the tab for care of the elderly. As a consequence those same old people are prevented from passing on their property/estate to their children because of their care home costs.

    Seems to me the benefit the children are deriving from offloading the care of their relatives to a plc is well worth it. Should those same children still be fit enough they could decide to look after their elderly relatives in exchange trousering their inheritance.

    Can’t have it both ways, enjoy your life and inherit nothing kids or get stuck with a wrinkly for 20 years to get hold of their bungalow in Eastbourne. Seems we have lost sight of how other societies care for their older members, we just want their money and to hell with looking after them

    The only way we will get enough young tax payers in the UK to pay for all of these long living elderly people out of the public purse is to increase the ratio of tax payers to old people. So either the retirement age goes up to 75 or we import lots of economically active people from abroad…. which may not be too popular either!

    The days of endless tax funded initiatives are over. Gordons posturing is purely to get the vote of the over 50’s, we all know that and so lets not kid ourselves.

  4. It all very good to have these so called policies in place but what they should be concentrating on is making sure their drawers a fully locked at night as that i beleive is the number 1 issue in britain today

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