Care Bill 'recipe for shambles', says peer

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Former Health Minister Lord Warner has warned that the government's care plans are a "a recipe for a total shambles" during committee stage debate, on 22 July 2013.

A deferred payment scheme is included in the plans, which involves local authorities loaning money to people to cover their care costs and prevent them from having to sell their home in their lifetime.

But Lord Warner said a national deferred payment scheme is needed as the "overwhelming majority" of local authorities have no experience of running such projects or valuing assets.

However Health Minister Earl Howe said there was no need for "a national body running an all-singing, all-dancing nationally mandated deferred payment scheme".

Earl Howe insisted work could start now to build on the good work currently done on care loans by some councils: "What we want to do is build on the good work that's already going on out there."

He acknowledged that there was only a minority of local authorities currently operating deferred payment schemes but said: "[They] provide us with a very good basis on which to build and share knowledge with other local authorities. That can start now."

This is the seventh of eight days allotted to the committee stage.

The bill seeks to cap the cost of care to individuals, and also to enshrine a duty by local authorities to meet the needs of carers.