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Burnham For Mayor

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

I want cross-party talks to succeed in creating a fairer care system

I sincerely hope reports of the Treasury going cold on social care reform are not accurate.

People have waited long enough already for political parties to get their act together. The longer we delay, the more families will face the terrible prospect of losing everything they have worked for.

The Dilnot proposals are an important first step towards a fairer system. We want the cross-Party talks to succeed as leaving the current, flawed system in place is the worst of all possible worlds.

Any solution requires difficult political decisions. So my offer to the Government, and I hope this will be heard in the Treasury, is to suspend politics as usual so the Government has the space to initiate a public debate on these difficult choices.

The current social care system in England is  a cruel lottery where the most vulnerable in our society pay charges according to their levels of vulnerability. This generation of politicians needs to show political courage because, without that, there will be no progress.

Labour is fully committed to the ongoing cross party talks but we are reaching a crunch moment. The Government owes it to older people to be honest about its plans rather than sending out smoke signals from the Treasury.