Kent, Hampshire and Buckinghamshire leaders call for care charge cap

Paul Carter Kent County Council leader, Paul Carter has set up an online petition

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The leaders of three county councils have written to the Prime Minister demanding the government implements a limit on charges for elderly care.

Kent, Hampshire and Buckinghamshire Tory council leaders said a review by Andrew Dilnot suggested no-one should have to pay more than £35,000.

The leaders wrote: "Families... are losing hard-earned life savings."

Paul Carter, leader of Kent's council, has also set up an e-petition calling for the cap to be in place by 2015.

In the letter, the three leaders said: "The government's swift action in launching the [Dilnot] commission so shortly after coming into power was a shrewd and widely welcomed decision, however, since the final report over a year ago, this has now been kicked in to the long grass.

"Day by day, hardworking families in need of intensive social care support, who have never received any state benefit during their lifetime, are losing their hard earned life savings and homes."

'A fair figure'

The letter was signed by Mr Carter, Martin Tett from Buckinghamshire County Council and Hampshire County Council's leader, Ken Thornber.

They wrote: "In a civilised society, providing for our hard working elderly and vulnerable should be a government's top priority."

The Department for Health said "There is no doubt capping costs - the principle recommended by Dilnot- is the best model. The key question is how to fund it sensibly given the current deficit.

"We are looking at how to achieve this, along with taking action to ensure people do not have to sell their homes to pay for care."

In July 2011 the commission chaired by Andrew Dilnot recommended individual's contribution towards their social care costs should be capped.

The report said a cap of £35,000 was "the most appropriate and fair figure".

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