Briefing by the Prime Minister's Spokesman on: Long-term Care Commission, torture, and the Food Standards Agency.
Long-term Care Commission
Asked about the Long-Term Care Commission, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that the Commission’s chair and its terms of reference had been announced today. The PMS added that the Commission would look at the best way to meet care and support costs, how to protect individuals’ assets against the cost of care and how public funding for the care and support system could be best used to meet needs.
The PMS explained that the Commission would report back within a year on their options. The PMS said that the Government’s position on this was clear but that it would not clip the wings of the Commission, which would look at various options, including voluntary schemes and partnership models of funding.
Asked why the Government didn’t just make a decision on long-term care the PMS replied that the Government wanted to look at the various options.
Asked about the terms of reference of the Commission and whether they meant that individuals would make a contribution, the PMS replied that she would not preclude the outcomes of the report. The PMS also referred to the Coalition Document, which set out that the Coalition would look at both voluntary insurance schemes and partnership models of funding. She added that the Government wouldn’t want to constrain the Commission from considering other options such as compulsory schemes.
Asked whether it would be a waste of money to get a Commission to investigate something that had been ruled out by the Government already, the PMS replied that the Government needed to find a way of funding long-term care as the population got older.
Asked about the panel appointed by the Government to look into torture claims, the PMS said that the Prime Minister’s view was that the individuals appointed were eminently respected public figures and would form a credible and effective panel.
Food Standards Agency
Asked whether the fact that in England nutrition policy would become a responsibility of DH meant that there would be different food labelling policies in different parts of the United Kingdom, the PMS referred people to the departments concerned.
The PMS added that the decision made today regarding the Food Standards Agency set out one of the steps towards a public health policy for the country and that a White Paper would be forthcoming in the not too distant future.