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Thursday, May 16, 2013

First Minster quizzed over elderly care costs

North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood has questioned the First Minister over Welsh Government action to address the substantial care costs many elderly and disabled people are faced with.
Speaking in the Assembly, Mr Isherwood referred to the UK Government’s Care Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech last week which  is aimed at joining up health and social care and will protect families in England from the "catastrophic" bills that can be run up,  and asked what is being proposed in Wales to deal with the problem.

He said: “One of the proposed Bills in the legislative programme announced in the Queen’s Speech was the Care Bill, which, among other things, proposes to cap care costs and extend the threshold for financial assistance from some £23,000 to £118,000 to protect people from catastrophic costs.

“My understanding is that that is England only, although, presumably, Barnettised money will come to the Welsh Government. How does the Welsh Government propose to address this particular problem, on a similar basis or otherwise, to protect people from those catastrophic costs in Wales?”

The First Minister told Mr Isherwood that the Welsh Government will “keep a close eye on the Care Bill in England”.
He said: “This is an issue on which we have to accept that there is a substantial cross-border flow of people who, potentially, will need to access care, and so, putting Wales in a better or worse position, as people might see it, will have an effect on where people would seek that care. Therefore, we will have to keep a close eye on the situation in England as we formulate our policy in Wales.”

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