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Parents 'have as much of a duty of care for parents as they do for children'

Parents have as much of a duty to look after their elderly mothers and fathers as they do for their own children, a Government minister has said.

David Mowat, the Care Minister in the Department of Health, said Britain's ageing population meant they had to consider new ways of caring for the elderly.

"We need to start thinking as a society about how we deal with care of our own parents," he told the Commons Communities and Local Government Committee, according to The Daily Telegraph.

"One of the things that has struck me as I've been doing this role is that nobody ever questions the fact that we look after our children, that's just obvious. Nobody ever says it is a caring responsibility, it's just what you do.

"I think some of that logic and some of the way we think about that, in terms of the sort of volume of numbers that we are seeing coming down the track, will have to impinge on the way we start thinking about how we look after our parents.

"In a way, it is a responsibility in terms of our life cycle that is similar."

Tim Loughton, a former families minister, said his fellow Conservative made a "fair point" and pointed to Mediterranean cultures as a model for improving intergenerational care.

"They literally live on top of each other and, surprise surprise, have far fewer elderly people cast out into care homes," he told the newspaper.

However Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said the Government was pushing responsibility for social care on to families.

"These comments from an out-of-touch minister show how bad the social care crisis is," he told the Daily Mail.

"He would want the best care possible for his family, and millions of people are the same.

"This Government, rather than dealing with the problem, wants families to do it themselves. They need to get a grip."

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