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Major political parties meet to discuss social care reform

Major political parties meet to discuss social care reform
11th March 2010

The three major political parties are united in their ambition to reform the social care system but are divided in their opinions on how to do it, a leading older person’s charity has claimed.

Age Concern and Help the Aged - soon to be merging to become Age UK - chaired a cross-party care summit yesterday, designed to "re-open the dialogue" about how to move forward in social care.

All parties felt the need to move on from the current system, where people can be forced to sell their homes to pay for residential care.

Health secretary Andy Burnham put forward some proposals, one of which included a ten per cent tax levy on the estate of the older person when they die, which prompted an angry response from shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley.

"All the options being discussed require more public money‚ in one way or another‚ and politicians need to say where it will come from. There is no such thing as a free lunch," said Andrew Harrop, director of policy and public affairs for Age Concern and Help the Aged.

Mr Harrop added that none of the proposals set out thus far have been credible.

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