Sir Merrick Cockell, the chairman of the Local Government Association, warned about the consequences if there was a failure to reform care for the elderly, in a letter to the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties:
It will increasingly limit the availability of valuable local discretionary services as resources are drawn away to plug the gap in care funding. For too long we have toyed with adult social care reform and failure to act now may be the failure that tips the system over.
Nobody - whether from central or local government, providers, the third sector or the public - wants that to happen so it is incumbent upon us all to bring about real change. This absolutely must include funding and we urge the government to be courageous.
Failing to reach an agreement soon on how to pay for care for the elderly could set a long-term solution back years, the letter cautioned.