Social care reform is dominating much of the General Election debate, as voters prepare to go to the polls on June 6.

Here is a look at what the three main political parties are pledging in their manifestos.

In the foreword of the Conservative manifesto, the prime minister said it was “the first ever proper plan to pay for, and provide, social care”.

Under Tory plans, the value of the family home will be included in a means test for working out how much an individual must pay towards social care in their own home, as well as residential care.

A new guarantee will also be introduced that no individual’s assets will be depleted below £100,000 due to the costs of care.

Previously, the floor was set at £23,250.

The document appeared to indicate Tories would scrap plans for a cap on social care costs to £72,000 from 2020.

But following criticism for her policy, Theresa May announced that she would consult on a cap following the election.

Individuals receiving care at home will be able to defer payments until after their death, as residential care-users already can, so that they do not have to sell their home during their lifetime.

Labour has said its first “urgent task” is to address the social care funding crisis.

Its party manifesto promises to increase social care budgets by £8 billion over the lifetime of the parliament, with £1 billion coming in the first year.

The party says this will fund a “real living wage”, paid travel time and access to training for care workers “without cutting quality of care.

It also pledges to end the situation where care visits can last as little as 15 minutes.

Labour also says it will lay the foundations for the creation of a National Care Service alongside the NHS and seek a consensus on how its £3 billion-a-year cost should be funded.

Potential options include through wealth taxes, employer contributions or a new social care levy.

The Lib Dems’ manifesto includes a pledge to put 1p on the rate of every band of income tax to raise £6 billion a year for the NHS and social care, and would consult on a possible dedicated health and care tax.

A cross-party health and social care convention on the long-term sustainability of health and social care would bring together stakeholders from all political parties, patients’ groups, the public and professionals.

The party’s longer-term objective is to integrate the NHS and social care, with budgets pooled in every area by 2020.

It would also introduce a statutory independent budget monitoring agency for health and care, reporting every three years on the system’s current and future needs.



Source

World News

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