Former minister warns of care crisis

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Former pensions minister Ros Altmann has warned that the UK is in danger of “sleepwalking into a social care crisis”.

Lady Altmann urged the government to use tax breaks in the Autumn Statement to help people save for their elderly care, the BBC reports.

The former minister said: “This should have been done years ago, but successive governments have failed to offer any help.”

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“Government spends billions on private pensions tax breaks, and there is a state pension to provide a base level of support, but there are no incentives to set money aside for care costs.”

Lady Altmann said the NHS could not carry on picking up the broken pieces of a “broken care system”.

“Care has been left to cash-strapped councils who keep cutting provision,” she said.

The former minister said a new ISA could help people save for care with companies offering “eldercare vouchers” similar to childcare vouchers, which gain tax relief.

Lady Atlmann, who left the government following the reshuffle in July, said she had warned other ministers of the impending crisis last year.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “This government is committed to making sure older people throughout the country get affordable and dignified care.

“We are significantly increasing the amount of money local authorities have access to for social care, by up to £3.5bn by 2020.

“Our care Act also introduced the biggest reforms to social care in over 65 years to make support more consistent across the country.”

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The author Lee Peart

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