Campaigners have welcomed Liberal Democrat proposals for a £5bn a year pledge to give everyone in England free social care.
Party leader Sir Ed Davey pledged a care package worth £5bn a year at the conference in Bournemouth, saying that reforming social care is one of the biggest challenges facing the country and a major priority for his party.
Following the announcement campaigners have called on the Conservatives and Labour to match or better the pledge as all the parties begin their party conferences.
The provider organisation, Independent Care Group (ICG) has welcomed the pledge. It has produced specially-branded editions of its blueprint document, the Five Pillars of Social Care Reform and is sending copies to the party leaders.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said today: “We would need to see the details but on the face of it the Liberal Democrat proposal is very encouraging – not least because it is evidence of a major political party putting social care reform high on its agenda.
“We very much hope the other two main political parties will follow suit and come up with similar or better proposals.
“Reform for social care and equality for the people who deliver it can only come from one place and that is Westminster.
“Only those with their hands on the levers of power can bring about real change in social care – everything else is just noise”.
“Getting social care reform discussed during the conferences in an important step towards having it in the party manifestos when the country goes to the polls in a General Election, probably next year.
“At the moment it isn’t even being discussed, which is frightening for the 1.6m people who currently can’t get care and the many more who will be added to that list in the coming months and years.”
The Liberal Democrat Party meet in Bournemouth from 23rd to 26th September, the Conservatives in Manchester from 1st to 4th October and the Labour Party in Liverpool from 8th to 11th October.