Report (5th Day)

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 6th March 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Murphy Baroness Murphy Crossbench 3:15 pm, 6th March 2012

My Lords, I think that the noble Lord, Lord Warner, is having us on. There is an urgent need to press the Government on bringing forward its White Paper on social care reform, which is the pressing economic and social care issue of our day-more important than this Bill. But we have to get it right. We are expecting a White Paper, and there are many arguments to be had about the recommendations from the Dilnot commission, although there is quite a consensus of opinion, and about the right and wrong and who will pay and when. I hope that we can have those debates in this House. But this issue requires a full Bill. This amendment gives a new Bill inside the Health and Social Care Bill on Report, and I do not really think that it will fly. I can imagine what the noble Lord, Lord Warner, would have done if it had been proposed when he was Health Minister. He would have given it very short shrift-and I urge the Government to do so again. We need a proper recommendation and discussion in the White Paper.

I also remind the House that last year the Law Commission came out with a report on adult care social services that said that we had had endless piecemeal bits of legislation over and over-and this amendment does it all over again. Let us not make the mistake of supporting this amendment. I am very sympathetic to what the noble Lord wants to do, and we all feel very impatient about it, but let us have a proper Bill and proper debates and get it right for the next generation. Frankly, it is our generation and the next one that will benefit from a proper social care reform Bill. Let us get it right and not do it this way.