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Lib Dems pledge to ‘end hospital crisis’ with free personal care – as Tories tout migration cap | Politics News

The Liberal Democrats will pledge free personal care to “all those who need it” as they make their social care offering on the campaign trail.

Making the announcement on Tuesday, the party will say it would help “end the hospital crisis” by enabling thousands of people ready to be discharged but stuck in hospital beds to get care, as well as help the elderly to “stay in their own homes longer”.

The Lib Dems pointed to a report by Age UK that found an estimated 1.6 million people aged 65 and over had unmet care needs, and in April alone, an average of 12,772 hospital beds were being used by people who were ready to be discharged.

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The UK will head to the polls on 4 July.

Leader Sir Ed Davey said: “As a carer for my disabled son, and after caring for my ill mother when I was young, care is deeply personal for me. That is why I am putting fixing the care crisis at the heart of the Liberal Democrat offer to the country at this election.

“Far too often, family carers are being left to pick up the pieces because the care system simply isn’t there for them. Millions of people are going without the care they need, while thousands are stuck in hospital beds instead of being cared for in their own home or a care home.

“We cannot fix the crisis facing the NHS without fixing the crisis facing social care. The Liberal Democrats would bring in free personal care to help people live independently and with dignity, in their own homes wherever possible.”

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Free personal care would cover nursing care, help with mobility, hygiene and medication, and be available to people both in their homes or in a care home – though if the latter, they would still have to contribute to their accommodation costs.

The Lib Dems estimate the policy would cost £2.7bn a year, and claim the cash could be raised by reversing tax cuts given to the banking sector by the Conservatives – and say it would save the NHS up to £3bn by reducing pressures.

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Meanwhile, the Conservatives will use Tuesday to promise an annual cap on migration.

The party has brought in a number of policies to try and reduce the number of legal migrants coming to the country after net migration hit record levels in the past two years.

But now it says a limit will be set.

It is not clear what that limit will be, with the Tories instead saying they would seek a recommendation from the Migration Advisory Committee, then put that figure to parliament for a vote.

But Mr Sunak said: “The Conservatives are the only party that is willing take the bold action needed to cut immigration figures.”

Both Mr Sunak and Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer are also expected to spend Tuesday preparing for the first leaders’ debate, being held on ITV the same evening.

But ahead of the event, Sir Keir will meet pensioners to discuss the impact of rising energy costs as he promises to “close the door on Putin” with Labour’s plan for Great British Energy.

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