Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Friday, 7 September 2012 14:40 UK

Social Care and Identification of Carers Bill (part one)

Councils should do more to improve the services available to carers so that more of them remain in work, according to one Labour MP.

Labour MP Barbara Keeley introduced her Social Care (Local Sufficiency) and Identification of Carers Bill at second reading, on 7 September 2012.

Ms Keeley's private member's bill would make it the responsibility of local authorities and health bodies in England to ensure there are enough social care services to meet the requirements of disabled people and carers in their area.

Ms Keeley told MPs her bill would would provide an economic "triple win" by helping skilled workers remain in their posts instead of having to cut their hours or quit to care for friends or relatives.

She said: "A recent report by Dr Linda Pickard of the London School of Economics shows it costs about £1.3bn a year in lost tax revenue and benefits when carers give up work to care."

The MP for Worsley and Eccles South called for local authorities in England to face a similar duty to promote care services as they do for childcare, ensuring enough are available in each area to allow families to work alongside caring for ill or disabled loved ones, and to support disabled people to work.

Conservative MP Sir Tony Baldry said Ms Keeley, who chairs the all-party social care group, should not try to force her bill through parliament, but attempt to include it within the government social care white paper.

He told MPs: "For my part I would rather have an undertaking for a constructive debate and discussion about trying to get those provisions in the bill, than running the vagaries of trying to get a second reading of the bill today."

Conservative MP for Bury North, David Nuttall, used his lengthy contribution to the debate to praise the work of social carers but warned the bill could have unintended consequences.

He said: "There is a danger that by imposing new duties to prepare the various assessments and reports which would be required under this bill, funding could actually be taken away from providing services on the front line."

You can watch the second half the debate here .

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