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Labour announces £10 billion investment to provide free personal care for older people

Labour announces plans to introduce free personal care. Credit: PA

Labour has announced plans to introduce free personal care for older people.

The party wants to invest £10 billion of additional funding in England by 2023/24, to provide more social care packages for working age adults and older people.

As part of the National Care Service, Labour has also pledged to raise standards of care by ending the use of zero-hour contracts, ensuring carers are paid a real living wage of £10 an hour from 2020.

They want to end 15-minute care visits and improve access to training and development for care workers.

Labour want to end 15-minute care visits. Credit: PA

Jeremy Corbyn said: "We have a social care crisis on our hands and it was created by the Tories.

"I want everyone to be able to live with dignity, which is why we will start by introducing free personal care for older people.

"Labour is on the side of care workers and those who need care. We are committed to real change in the way that social care is delivered."

Labour want to:

  • Introduce free personal care for older people, to support them to live independently in their own home by providing help with daily tasks such as getting in and out of bed, bathing and washing and preparing meals
  • Fund social care with £10 billion of additional funding by 2023/24 to provide more social care packages for working age adults and older people
  • Cap care costs, to ensure no one is faced with high costs for their care
  • Reform provision of care by ensuring care providers meet ethical standards of care
  • Support the care workforce better to ensure people receive support from trained staff
Shadow health and social care secretary Jonathan Ashworth said Labour's pledge was 'essentially free personal social care'. Credit: Sky News/Sophy Ridge on Sunday

Shadow health and social care secretary Jonathan Ashworth told Sky's Sophy Ridge "essentially we're announcing free personal social care".

He added: "It means that no one will have to pay anything for the care that they get in their home, support getting out of bed... this is about ensuring fairness in the system."

Pushed on the costings of the policy, Mr Ashworth said: "Well we're putting £10 billion extra in."

On whether Labour would agree to cross-party talks on social care legislation, Mr Ashworth said if Labour lose the election, "we'll deal with it then" but that he's "always prepared to talk to whoever".

The Conservatives have pledged an extra £1 billion pounds per year for social care, and say they will also find cross party consensus on long term funding, as will the Lib Dems who are also offering £3 billion a year.