Page last updated at 13:43 GMT, Friday, 7 September 2012 14:43 UK

Social Care and Identification of Carers Bill (part two)

MPs continued debate on the Social Care (Local Sufficiency) and Identification of Carers Bill at second reading, on 7 September 2012.

The private member's bill, sponsored by Labour MP Barbara Keeley, 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.

In the second half of the debate MPs heard from Shadow Health Minister Liz Kendall.

Ms Kendall said the bill could "flip the care challenge on its head" so that instead of seeing an ageing population as a "drain and a burden" on the country, it could be viewed as a new market.

She told MPs: "The population is changing, it is ageing, demand for care and support services will grow - there is actually a huge opportunity to develop and stimulate jobs and companies and growth in this area."

A similar process had taken place in France, she said, which had resulted in a range of services being developed; "stimulating" 50,000 jobs a year even after the global financial crash in 2008.

Health Minister Norman Lamb agreed change was needed and said the government was committed to cross-party talks to improve carers' lot.

But Mr Lamb denied new responsibilities for councils was the best solution, claiming Ms Keeley's proposal would lead to new red tape rather than one law covering the area.

Refusing to back the bill, he said it would "perpetuate the fragmentation of carers' legislation that we are actually seeking to end".

Mr Lamb told MPs: "Just at the moment when the whole of the sector has celebrated the fact that we are seeking to bring everything together, it seems irrational to have a separate bill which seeks to introduce new duties."

Debate on the second reading of the bill was not concluded by the end of the day's session, so it is unlikely there will be time for the bill to be debated again, or pass, during this Parliament.

You can watch the first half the debate here .

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