Conservative peer and ex-pensions minister Ros Altmann’s call was echoed by two Tory MPs who urged a rethink on the commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on overseas aid while the elderly at home are in need.
The comments came as a law firm said a growing number of ageing parents are signing legal documents effectively stating they would rather die than see “excessive” care home fees plunder their children’s inheritance.
And Chancellor Philip Hammond denied the Prime Minister blocked him from announcing new funds for social care in last month’s Autumn Statement.
The Daily Mail quoted Baroness Altmann as saying: “The needs of our vulnerable elderly must come first before prioritising the needs of people elsewhere.
“It is important for us to be a global leader in helping poverty-stricken and Third World countries – but what we mustn’t forget is that we have the equivalent of poverty-stricken and Third World social care here.”
The newspaper said Shipley MP Philip Davies and Wellingborough MP Peter Bone added to her call.
Mr Davies said: “Charity begins at home and we should make sure we are spending enough on social care for our vulnerable older and disabled constituents before we send money abroad.”
Mr Hammond hinted yesterday he might be willing to abandon the Conservatives pledge to commit to spending 0.7% on overseas aid.
The comments came after town hall chiefs said they had discussed proposals with ministers to increase council tax bills in England to fill a black hole in funding for adult social care which could otherwise reach £2.6billion by 2020.
Paul Gotch, a lawyer with JMW Solicitors, said concerns over care costs were raised by nearly all the firm’s clients this year who signed lasting power of attorney documents.
He said: “Without doubt, the most common theme in discussions is a desire to refuse prospective treatment should they become incapacitated because they realise how the costs of care could drastically affect the amounts which they can pass on to their families.
“It amounts to a declaration that they would rather end their lives than become a financial burden to their loved ones.”
Labour accused the Government of unfairly “dumping” the funding crisis on council tax-payers and demanded to know why ministers had not “fought harder to get extra, vital funding for social care” in the Autumn Statement.
Mr Hammond told the House of Commons Treasury Committee he had discussed the issue with the PM but insisted it was “not true” that she had barred him from committing more cash.
“We are absolutely aware of the cacophony of input from local authorities and health trusts around the situation in the social care area,” he said.
“It is an important area and we will continue to discuss it and continue to look at the representations we are receiving.”
Meanwhile, Downing Street said some of the blame for the problems in social care were due to under-performing councils.