Free personal care must be introduced here following Brown speech

Alliance Health Spokesperson Kieran McCarthy MLA has said that the pledge in Gordon Brown’s Leader’s speech at the Labour Party Conference to introduce free personal care underlines the need for Northern Ireland to bring forward the same provision. In 2002 Kieran McCarthy put an amendment to the Assembly that gave the DUP, Sinn Fein, SDLP and Ulster Unionists the chance to implement free personal care but they all voted against it

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.”


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