Eighteen charities have demanded that Labour and Conservative politicians must cease using the issue of care reform to score political points.
The three main parties met privately but after talks broke down; MPs verbally attacked each other in Parliament over their parties' respective plans. The Conservatives accused Labour of planning a £20,000 'death tax' to pay for social care, while health secretary Andy Burnham said a Conservative campaign featuring a gravestone was "grubby and desperate".
The charities say, "We welcome the political attention that social care is receiving. However, we are in danger of seeing this most important of debates become reduced to election sound bites and poster slogans. The vexed question of who pays is unquestionably difficult, and the solutions may be controversial - but the costs of failing to act are simply too great to allow the debate needed to be drowned out by party political squabbling. We need a care settlement that delivers long-term solutions that will not be reversed by changes in government or in the economic climate. It is premature to rule out future proposals to score a political point. Social care reform needs to be an issue of consensus. We need a care settlement that delivers long-term solutions that will not be reversed by changes in government or in the economic climate."
The charities that told politicians to find a sustainable solution to improve care for the elderly without sleight of hand shuffling of money or unsupportable figures are:
- Carers UK
- Counsel and Care
- Joseph Rowntree Foundation
- National Care Forum
- English Community Care Association
- Alzheimer's Society
- Age Concern and Help the Aged
- Resolution Foundation
- MS Society
- Macmillan Cancer Support
- Sue Ryder Care
- Contact A Family
- Crossroads Care
- Princess Royal Trust for Carers
- Grandparents Plus
- Parkinson's Disease Society