How Labour's 20-year rule in Wales has failed to stop huge social care cost

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The Shadow Justice Minister was unable to answer the Plaid Cymru leader’s question as to why they have not made social care free in Wales, despite being in power for 20 years. Free social care is a key manifesto pledge for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in this election. Mr Corbyn has been extremely critical of the Conservative Party's record on social care over the last nine years – but funding it is a devolved issue and, in Wales, Labour has been the biggest party in the Welsh Assembly since its creation in 1999.

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Despite insisting it should be free at the point of access, this has not been achieved under Labour's leadership in Wales over the last 20 years.

Mr Price asked Mr Burgon: “Why is it, when you are in government in Wales, you’ve not implemented it – we have free social care in Scotland, why can’t we have it in Wales?

“You are talking about a national health and social care service free at the point of need for social care in Wales.

“You could do it in Wales now! Why don’t you?”

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jeremy corbyn adam priceJeremy Corbyn's Labour Party was criticised by Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru (Image: GETTY)

plaid cymru adam pricePlaid Cymru leader Adam Prince on ITV's election debate (Image: ITV)

To this, Mr Burgon could not respond and the audience appeared to laugh when he simply offered Mr Price a smile in response to the Plaid Cymru leader's question.

Currently in the UK if someone has to move into a residential care home their local council will decide whether they need to make a contribution towards the fee based on their income, capital and savings, including your home.

In Wales, if you have £50,000 in savings or capital assets you have to pay the care home fees in full.

If you require care at home, you will also have to pay for some or all of the help, based on a financial assessment that does not include your home.

labour richard burgon itvShadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon (Image: ITV)

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According to UK Care Guide, it is estimated to cost between £28,000 and £33,000 for just one year of residential care in Wales.

For just five hours a week of care in your own home it can cost around £3,500.

This means that many elderly people in need of social care in Wales and their families having to fork out huge sums to pay for social care, despite Labour claiming that it should be free.

When contacted, Labour were quick to point out that they could only decrease the burden of social care costs on

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