§ Mr. Berry
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the comments of the Royal Commission on long-term care of 29 September 2003, with special reference to the Government's policy on means testing personal care; and what plans he has to meet the members of the Royal Commission to discuss the issues which they have raised. 
§ Dr. Ladyman
The Government have accepted each of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on long-term care except the recommendation to provide free personal care. We stand by that decision.
Our decision has allowed us to invest an additional £1 billion by 2006 towards the care of older people in a variety of ways, including measures to support more older people to continue to live in their homes. If we had implemented the recommendation of the Royal Commission, we would not have been able to provide increased domiciliary care for older people, nor would we have been able to provide additional care home places and alternatives such as extra care housing or additional support for carers.
I have no plans to meet the members of the Royal Commission to discuss the issues they have raised.