Free personal care announced for England – We need it here now

Following the announcement in the Queen’s Speech today that free personal care will be introduced in England, Alliance Health Spokesperson Kieran McCarthy MLA has said the Stormont Executive should introduce this measure now. Mr McCarthy has campaigned for free personal care for almost a decade and has demanded that Executive parties honour their manifesto commitments on the issue.

Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “It’s time that Executive parties honoured their manifesto commitments on delivering free personal care now.

“In the Queen’s Speech, it was announced that this measure is to be introduced in England. Scotland already has it, so why is the Stormont Executive letting us slip behind other areas? While what is proposed for England differs slightly from what we want here, we must still highlight the fact that Northern Ireland is being left behind on this matter.

“I have been pushing the DUP, Sinn Fein, the SDLP and Ulster Unionists on this vitally important issue for almost a decade, but still they fail to deliver. In the free nursing care bill in 2002, I proposed an amendment to have free personal care introduced, but these four parties all voted against it. In 2007, all four parties included a manifesto commitment to introduce it; however, they have had over two years since the return of devolution to provide this, but they have not acted. We need the delivery of free personal care now, and these parties should hang their heads in shame over their failure to act.”


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