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From Ilkley Gazette, May 1st, 2019

VULNERABLE people shouldn't have to worry about the cost of their future care, says Keighley MP John Grogan. He was speaking after attending a drop-in event in Parliament, at which the charity Independent Age outlined evidence relating to the benefits of introducing free personal care for older people in England. Free care is already available in Scotland. Figures show there are more than 19,300 people aged over 65 in the Keighley Parliamentary constituency.

"Independent Age has made a powerful case for how free personal care could benefit my constituents and ensure that some of the most vulnerable people don’t have to worry about the financial costs of their care in the future," said Mr Grogan.

"The Government has promised to publish a Green Paper on the policy options for social care, which is due any day now.

"My own view is that there is a case for increasing the rate and scope of inheritance tax to fund free social care for all.

"Everybody would have the peace of mind that they'd be looked after if they get infirm in later life.

"Also, homeowners would no longer have the fear of losing all their assets paying for care but would know they'd be paying a defined amount on their estate as part of what would be a social insurance policy for all."

He added that as a society, "we need to value social care workers more".

"Trying to provide care in 15 minutes to an elderly person in a rushed home visit – which happens every day in Keighley and Ilkley – is just not good enough," he said.

George McNamara, director of policy and influencing at Independent Age, said many older people in Keighley were worried about how to fund their future care.

He added: "Our social care system needs urgent reform.

"Having a local champion in Parliament will help to ensure that this important issue is high on the political agenda."