Barbara Keeley

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR WORSLEY AND ECCLES SOUTH

Barbara's Salford Advertiser Column, 6th November 2009

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Social care is being debated in Westminster, after the Government published its Green Paper “Shaping the Future of Care Together” in July.   Last week, I attended a meeting of all six of the All Party Parliamentary Groups involved with carers and social care. There was also a debate in the Commons Chamber on Social Care.   At the heart of the discussion is how to fund an improved National Care Service. The Government's long-term aim is that people should be able to live full and independent lives in their own home for as long as possible. The Prime Minister has also announced that we will provide free personal care for those with greatest needs.   In this debate, we can see the difference between the Government’s plan and the Conservative Opposition. The free personal care scheme for those with the greatest needs is a major building block of Labour's new national care service. Under the Conservatives’ plan, those who can pay a premium of £8,000 at age 65 will get free residential care later. To me, the Conservative proposal is wrong. Most people can’t afford to pay out £8,000, or £16,000 for a couple. It is a big step backwards to be using residential care when what most people want is help to stay in their own homes.   I have campaigned for many years for better support for carers and I want their voices to be heard in this debate. Around one in ten people are carers and it as vital that families and carers are at the very heart of the new system.

There is still time for Worsley constituents to share their views on this. Comments can be sent to my office at 37 Manchester Road, Walkden, M28 3NS or via my website.

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