Adult Social Care

Part of Opposition Day — [4th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 9:51 pm on 16th July 2012.

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Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 9:51 pm, 16th July 2012

The hon. Gentleman should welcome that.

The White Paper opens for business the new national information website so that people can find out more about all parts of the care and support system. It sets out legal entitlements to personal budgets so that care users, their families and their carers can choose what services they get. There are improvements to the transition to children’s services to adult services. These are big changes, egalitarian changes and, most of all, they will be effective changes. We are also reforming the existing social care legislation through the draft Care and Support Bill. The White Paper is about keeping people well and helping them to take control, get independent and live the lives they deserve with the certainty and security they need to do so with dignity.

There are times when we, as politicians, need not only to open our eyes and ears to the world outside this House, but to stand in the shoes of those we represent. They do not want to see us argue, squabble and bicker over their lives. On this issue, perhaps more than any other, we need to work together. If we do that, we can improve the system for millions of people, whether they use the services or care for someone who uses them. The system is funded until the next spending review.

I urge Opposition Members and Front Benchers to put aside party political differences and work alongside us to ensure that we have a system that is sustainable not only for this year and next, until the next general election, but for the years ahead. Older people in this country, the carers who support them and people with disabilities deserve that. The White Paper gives us a foundation on which to work, a foundation that has been missing for far too long. In 13 years in government, in favourable economic times, those now on the Opposition Benches did nothing that was sustainable in the long term. We need a foundation that gives us a chance to build a care and support system that future generations will be proud of. I urge the House to reject the motion.

The House divided: