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Homecare legislation 'rushed through'

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A former cabinet secretary has sais that that the government's proposals to provide free home care for a further 400,000 older people is being "rushed through" parliament.

Lord Butler, a crossbench peer who was formerly Britain's most senior civil servant, told Today presenter John Humphrys that the initiative "risks being a prime example of bad legislation", adding that the government's estimated cost of £670m a year has been dismissed as an underestimate by directors of social services.

The Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, said that parliament had debated the homecare system but had failed to act and had left "an unacceptable system".

"I don't believe it is right to say to people to wait," he explained. "I want to make the system fairer today."

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