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Care leaders welcome LibDem election pledge of free personal care

Social care leaders have welcomed Liberal Democrat plans to offer free personal care to older or disabled people at home.

Party Leader Sir Ed Davey said that, if elected, his party would raise care workers’ pay, by reversing tax cuts given to big banks. The party estimates the cost of these initiatives at £2.7 billion by 2028-29.

The Health Foundation think-tank estimates that introducing a Scottish-style model of ‘free personal care’ in England could cost around £6bn extra in 2026/27, rising to £7bn by 2035/36. It also notes that one in 10 care posts in the care sector are currently vacant. Senior Policy Officer Lucinda Allen said: ” warns that the challenge of said: “the scale of the challenge shouldn’t be under-estimated. Reform and investment are needed to… boost staff pay and conditions…. Inaction is not an option.” 

The National Care Forum (NCF) has also welcomed the announcement. CEO Vic Rayner said: “The detail behind their plans for free personal care will be important to understand. The fundamental premise of any new system is that it enhances people’s ability to access high quality, sustainable social care at the time and place that they want it. In this regard, there is much to learn from partners across the UK and wider who have introduced free personal care.”

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