Committee (6th Day)

Part of Care Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 7:45 pm on 16th July 2013.

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Photo of Lord Sharkey Lord Sharkey Liberal Democrat 7:45 pm, 16th July 2013

My Lords, I thank all noble Lords who have spoken in favour of a comprehensive, national and centrally funded information and advice campaign under the direct control of the Secretary of State. I am sorry that my noble friend the Minister did not seem entirely convinced by that. I was very puzzled by one thing that the Minister said about the cost of an annual report on how well we were making progress in generating awareness of the terms and implications of Dilnot. I cannot see that the cost could be anything but essentially trivial. I may be wrong about that, but I should be very grateful if the Minister would clarify, perhaps in writing later, why he thinks that the cost would be substantial at all.

I continue to feel that the whole issue of providing information and understanding is much too important to be left to local authorities and for the Secretary of State not to have direct responsibility for it. The task facing any information campaign in this area is enormous. The last survey that I saw showed, for example, that only 17% of UK adults understand what a percentage is—even that may be an overstatement—and Dilnot’s implications are much more complicated than that. We need the best communication with the most money and we need obvious accountability. That means central government and the Secretary of State having responsibility.

Given the opinions expressed around the Chamber today, we may well want to return to this issue on Report. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 89E withdrawn.

Amendments 90 and 90ZA not moved.

Clause 15 agreed.

Clause 16 : Cap on care costs: annual adjustment

Amendments 90A to 90D not moved.

Clause 16 agreed.

House resumed. Committee to begin again not before 8.50 pm.