People responsible for parents ‘as much as children’

family law

Adults have as much responsibility for the care of their parents as they do for their children, a government minister claims.

This week Care Minister David Mowat told the Commons Communities and Local Government Committee that people “need to start thinking as a society about how we deal with care of our own parents”.

He said that “nobody ever questions the fact that we look after our children, that’s just obvious”. People don’t consider this “a caring responsibility, it’s just what you do”.

Mowat insisted the thought process about the care of children “will have to impinge on the way we start thinking about how we look after our parents”.

Conservative MP Tim Loughton supported the Care Minister’s claims, adding that Mediterranean countries “have a social, family caring structure where you have different generations that look out for each other”.  The UK “ghettoise[s] elderly people” and has developed “almost an apartheid system of all members of a generation being put together” Loughton asserted.

However, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron was not convinced. He called Mowat “an out of touch minister” and said his comments to the Committee revealed “how bad the social care crisis is”. The Care Minister “would want the best care possible for his family, and millions of people are the same” Farron insisted.

He said:

“This government, rather than deal with the problem, want families to do it themselves. They need to get a grip.”

Mowat’s comments were prompted by warnings from local authorities that a lack of funding could cause the country’s care system for elderly people to be in “grave danger of falling apart”. Surrey Country Council is set to hold a referendum on whether or not to increase council tax bills by 16 per cent to cover the funding shortfall, The Telegraph reports.

Photo by Trocaire via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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1 comment

Andrew - January 31, 2017 at 6:01pm

Rubbish, Mr Mowat. Very few homes in this country can accommodate three generations and attempting to do so would just cause tension and misery and breakdown in marriage. The extended caring family is a cliche popular with people who don’t have mother-in-law living with them.
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It’s also a fact which won’t go away that people are far less likely than they were in earlier generations to stay in the same area all their lives. They move where the work is, or where the other half wants to live, or where the other half’s work is. That’s life.

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