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Political clash over long-term care

Health Secretary Andy Burnham has called for a cross-party conference on how to fund long-term care for the elderly, following a public spat between the parties.

The Government is angry that the Tories are running a poster campaign suggesting the Government is looking to introduce a 10 per cent levy on death to fund long-term care. The idea was one of a number of proposals the Government put forward in a green paper last summer. Other options included a voluntary insurance scheme and a partnership scheme between industry and individuals.

Labour, the Conservatives and the LibDems clashed on the issue on the BBC One’s Politics Show on Sunday.

Burnham said the Tories were running a “grubby and desperate” campaign, highlighting that the proposal for a compulsory levy on estates to pay for free personal care at home for elderly people is just one of the options set out in the green paper.

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb backed the idea of a cross-party conference but Conservative Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said he would only attend if Labour scrapped any plans for a compulsory levy.

Last week, local authorities hit out at Government plans to provide free home care under the Personal Care At Home Bill, saying it could cost them more than £20m.

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