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Labour pledges free personal care for over-65s in England

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Labour pledges free personal care for over-65s in England

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Labor is promising free personal care in England for the needy over 65, so they will not have to pay for help with clothing, clothing and meals.

State aid with the cost of residential or residential assistance is currently available to those with assets below £ 23,250.

Workers say the pledge, which costs about £ 6 billion a year, will double the number of people who do not have to pay.

That would put England in line with Scotland, where personal care is free for people with the most severe needs.

In his speech at the Labor conference on Monday, Chancellor John McDonnell said the measure would be funded by general taxes.

A future Labor government would pass legislation to enshrine the right to release personal care for those most in need, consulting "eligibility criteria to ensure that this system works for everyone".

Brexit pressure

Labor said they would give more details of how they would be paid in their election manifesto, but conservatives said the already extensive opposition spending commitments meant "there simply won't be enough money to pay for it."

In anticipation of a general election this fall, the Labor Party has already pledged this week to exempt England's prescription fees and remove charity status from private schools as a first step towards "integrating" them into the state sector.

  • Labor Commitments to Discontinue NHS Prescription Fees
  • Will social care be addressed?

But the leadership remains under pressure on Brexit, with delegates ready to vote on a motion pushing for a clearer stance on a new EU referendum if the Labor Party gains power.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to resolve the social care crisis that has plagued previous conservative and labor governments because of its cost and complexity.

McDonnell said cuts in funding for care since 2010 have left one million people without the necessary care and "87 people die each day waiting for care."

Subsidizing the cost of basic tasks such as getting in and out of bed and going to the bathroom will allow more people to continue living independently in their homes, he said.

Free personal care is something activists have long been asking for in England.

Scotland has already introduced it, and Wales and Northern Ireland offer some level of universal law. In Wales, the cost of home care is limited, while in Northern Ireland those over 75 receive it for free.

Both Conservatives and Labor have been discussing system reform for more than two decades – Tony Blair came to power in 1997 promising to look into it.

But none of them succeeded. Why? Cost and complexity have proven to be insurmountable barriers.

Also, how much impact the policy depends on the threshold set to access it. Even in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the level of help is very high. Only those with the most severe needs can.

The devil, as always, will be in the details.

Based on Scottish numbers, Labor said the measure could save those who currently self-finance their care almost £ 10,000 a year, while 70,000 fewer families will be responsible for "catastrophic" lifetime care costs of over £ 100,000.

Removing the distinction between health and care needs, McDonnell argued, will further help families of people with dementia who face the highest costs and, in many cases, have been forced to sell their homes to pay for care.

"I believe that the right to dignity in retirement is part of that right to health at any stage of life," he said. "The truth is that our welfare sector is a national scandal.

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The shadow chancellor claimed that people were dying due to lack of funds

"The next Labor government will introduce free personal care at point of use in England

"Funded not through misleading conservative insurance schemes, but, like the NHS and other essentials, through general taxes."

The pledge goes beyond what the Labor Party promised in its 2017 election manifesto – in which it promised to raise the minimum asset threshold for free attendance, limit the amount anyone should pay in life and support free end-of-life care. .

Under the current resource-tested system, if an individual has assets worth more than £ 23,250, including property, they must pay the full cost of residential care without the help of the council.

Those with assets over £ 14,250 need to contribute but can get some help from the state.

The work, whose long-term goal is to provide free personal care to all working-age adults, says support for people over 65 will ease pressure on the NHS by reducing delayed hospital care transfers and hospitalizations. for homes and hospitals.

Catastrophic Costs

McDonnell also promised to bridge the gap in welfare funding – the work has promised to spend £ 8 billion more per year in five years – and to give local authorities extra support to provide assistance so that services are not outsourced to private companies. .

The King's Fund think tank estimated that free personal care could cost £ 6 billion a year by 2020-21, rising to £ 8 billion by 2030.

The organization said Labor's announcement was a welcome step, but "it's not the same thing as free welfare, and some people would still be facing catastrophic costs."

In its Expenditure Round earlier this month, the government announced another $ 1.5 billion in extra funding for social assistance and promised to give councils more leeway to raise extra funds through municipal tax accounts.

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