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Lords push Govt to change Care bill financial advice rules

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A number of cross bench peers are pushing the Government to amend the care bill and create clearer referrals to financial advice for those needing long-term care.

In the first House of Lords debate on the bill yesterday, peers criticised the proposal that people must only be referred to financial advice independent of the local authority and not regulated advisers.

Baroness Sally Greengross said: “We must make sure that advice relating to care and support includes information about how to access relevant independent financial advice. This should bring in the members of the Society of Later Life Advisers.”

Some peers pushed for an affordable advocacy option which could then refer people on to other advice sources such as regulated advisers.

Baroness Rita Donaghy said: “Website information is welcome, but some people need more intensive help. The clause on advocacy has already been mentioned.

“It should be strengthened, perhaps by creating a positive duty on local authorities to ensure that someone has the help and advice they need.”

Lord Michael Bichard said: “We need to ensure that individuals are not vulnerable to other advice that might disadvantage them but benefit providers.

“I wonder whether this issue would benefit from one further look. Is it really not possible for us to come up with some affordable advocacy support for people who are facing such difficult decisions?”

Health minister Earl Howe said the bill reflects the importance of financial advice and the Government has listened to recommendations.

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