Labour pledge free personal social care for all over-65s in England
England’s elderly will be eligible for state-funded support if they need help with basic tasks including getting out of bed, washing and feeding themselves under Labour plans for a National Care Service.
The pledge to fund free personal care – which would cost an estimated £6 billion a year in 2020/21 – would more than double the number of people receiving state-funded support, Labour said.
The opposition claimed it would also reduce the number of people facing “catastrophic costs” to pay for social care.
Labour said the plan would ensure people with dementia receive the same care as those with other conditions and reduce the burden on unpaid carers and the NHS.
As part of the National Care Service, Labour has pledged to raise standards of care by ending the use of zero-hour contracts, ensuring that carers are paid a real living wage, including for travel time; end 15-minute care visits; and improve access to training and development for care staff.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell (pictured) will set out details of the plan in his speech at the Labour conference in Brighton on Monday.
“As the first building block in our new National Care Service the next Labour government will introduce personal care free at the point of use in England,” he will say.
“Funded not through the Conservatives’ gimmicky insurance schemes but, like the NHS and our other essentials, through general taxation.”
Currently, only people with low levels of savings receive publicly-funded personal care.
Labour will set out details of any tax rises to pay for the universal policy in its general election manifesto.
The party said its plans would address the funding gap in social care and support councils to directly provide, rather than outsource, care provision.
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