FUNDING CRISIS: Charity calls for cross-party talks

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Elderly charity Independent Age has called for cross-party talks on the social care funding crisis.

The call follows reports that the government is considering allowing councils to increase the social care precept to raise extra funds for the sector (see Council tax hikes considered for social care).

Janet Morrison, chief executive, said: “The level of calls across the social care sector for the government to take action has reached fever pitch.

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“We welcome measures such as a rise in the council tax precept that might provide desperately needed short term relief but government must accept that last-ditch measures like this are not a sustainable longer-term solution.

“We want the government to start cross-party talks immediately to explore what can be done to solve the crisis in social care long term to ensure that frail, sick and elderly people do not continue to lose out.”

The Telegraph has reported the government is considering an immediate cash injection into the care sector by allowing councils to collect the 6% increase in the social care precept due between now and 2020 over two years as long as they do not seek further payments in the third year.

Some Conservative MPs, meanwhile, have called on the government to use some of the foreign aid budget to look after elderly people.

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