Strangford MLA Kieran McCarthy stated: “Gordon Brown’s pledge has brought this important issue back into the spotlight and I would call on the Stormont Executive to introduce free personal care as soon as possible.
“Why should people in residential or nursing homes have to pay for care when they have worked all their lives and paid their taxes?
“Alliance is the only party that has campaigned consistently on this issue. When the free nursing care bill was debated in 2002 in the Assembly, I placed an amendment calling for free personal care to be included. The Ulster Unionists, SDLP, DUP and Sinn Fein all voted against it. Alliance was the only party to vote for it. Then, in their Assembly election manifestos these four parties all said they supported free personal care, so I call on the Executive parties to now put their money where there mouth is.
“A society must look after those who need help, and providing personal care free of charge would make a massive difference to people’s lives.”