Tory leadership contender Jeremy Hunt has proposed new financial support for three-generation families who are prepared to look after their elderly relatives at home rather than putting them into a care home.
Under his four-point plan, the former health secretary said families will able to apply for tax relief if they choose to adapt or extend their home to accommodate their relatives’ needs.
“There are 420,000 households in our country that are three-generation households, where granny, mum and dad and the kids all live under the same roof. I think that is a good thing,” he told an audience in York.
“I am not saying we all want to live with our mother-in-law. But I think that three-generation families are a wonderful thing.
“If you look at Spain and Italy, where they spend less on social care than us but they don’t have a social care crisis, is because they are societies that hold families together.
If he beats Boris Johnson in the race to be the next prime minister, Hunt said he intends to establish a 10-year funding plan for the social care system, although he did not reveal the amount, and would better integrate health and social care services.
Hunt said he would also promote long-term saving schemes, similar to an Isa, which would see them making in-work contributions like a private pension.
Care costs also would be capped, although Hunt has not indicated at what threshold, with the Government offering a guarantee that no one will be forced to sell their home to pay for their care.
Unveiling the plan on Thursday night, Hunt said: “Britain is known throughout the world for its compassion and decency, and I want to lead a Government that walks the talk on that.
“That’s why guaranteeing older people dignity and respect in their final years is unfinished business for me.
“I famously refused to move from health because I passionately believed we needed a long term plan and funding settlement for the NHS.
“If Conservatives stand for anything it has to be dignity and security for our elderly generation as their lives draw to a close.
“The level of loneliness and isolation amongst old people across this country is nothing short of a national scandal. I want to bring health and social care together, and back those unsung heroes caring for their own family members for free.”