The head of a major review into social care being prepared for the government has said that the current arrangement is "a Cinderella service".
Andrew Dilnot of the Commission on the Funding of Care and Support, which will present its findings in July, told presenter John Humphrys that though there was "a lot to celebrate" about the present system, the balance between individual and and state responsibility is widely seen to be unfair.
He added that "the system at the moment is not one we can be proud of" and that it is under great pressure and in need of reform.
"People certainly seem to feel that it's wrong that they should potentially lose everything, that would be very bad for their incentives to save and it seems unfair," he explained.
And Mr Dilnot indicated that he favoured a national system of assessing care which allows for local variation in the way it is delivered.
His comments come as a new survey claims that 13 per cent more local councils in England are cutting back on the number of people entitled to free adult social care.
The report, by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, also says that 116 councils are now refusing to fund those assessed as in "moderate" need or lower.
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