Headlines: February 2nd, 2010

Contoversy over the Personal Care at Home Bill is continuing after it was given its second reading in the House of Lords. Four national charities have called on politicians to support it but a former Cabinet Secretary said the legislation was typical of bad laws that had been passed because Parliament was taken for granted.

The Bill has been passed by the House of Commons and needs to be approved by the Lords before becoming law. The charities, Age Concern/Help the Aged, Carers UK, the Parkinson’s Disease Society and Counsel and Care have called on Peers to support it. They say it will help about 400,000 elderly people and offer free care at home to those most in need.

In a joint statement they said: “Care charges for those with critical needs are often a crippling cost to families already struggling with the financial impacts of illness or disability. This Bill would mark an historic end to means-testing and charging for some of the most vulnerable people in our society to provide for their most basic care needs.”

Directors of Adult Social Services have already called for a meeting with Ministers over fears that the actual cost of implementing the Bill’s provisions could be be twice as much as estimated. In the Lords’ debate, Lord Butler, a former cabinet secretary, said it was typical of many bad laws that had been passed because Parliament was taken for granted. He wanted Peers to tell the Government they would not consider the legislation until consultations on the issue had been completed.