Dilnot calls for £35,000 care cost-capping
Andrew Dilnot's eagerly-awaited report into the funding of adult care and support has recommended capping costs and raising the means-tested threshold to limit individual exposure to meeting long-term residential care bills.
The commission's findings, which suggests ministers cap lifetime contributions at a figure between £25,000 and £50,000, suggests £35,000, which would require £1.7bn state funding, as 'the most appropriate and fair figure.'
Among other major changes proposed to the current system established in 1948 - in which people pay for the entirety of their care until the value of their assets falls below £23,500 - Dilnot's commission recommends the threshold above which people become liable for full care costs be increased to £100,000.
By 2030 the number of people aged over 85 is forecast to double to 2.4 million. Roughly a quarter of 65 year olds can expect to face care costs of over £50,000 and for one-in-ten it will be more than £100,000. Dilnot’s proposals are designed to ensure the increasing numbers of people going into residential care would have to spend no more than 30% of their assets on care costs.
Urging reform of adult social care, Andrew Dilnot said the current system is 'confusing, unfair and unsustainable' and without measures would worsen,'with the most vulnerable in our society being the ones to suffer.'
Launching the report, Mr Dilnot said:'Under our proposed system, everybody who gets free support from the state now will continue to do so and everybody else would be better off. Putting a limit on the maximum lifetime costs people may face will allow them to plan ahead for how they wish to meet these costs. By protecting a larger amount of people’s assets, they need no longer fear losing everything.'
Welcoming the report 'without reservation', Peter Hay, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said it 'signals what will become the moment when adult social care was put on a footing to become fit for purpose in the twenty first century.'
Acknowledging colleagues are 'working in a broken system' that faces many future challenges, he nevertheless argued the system is capable of reform.
Mr Hay said: 'Social care is a system worth the repair - it has the ability to change lives. I don't just want assurance that what waits for my old age is a guarantee of basic standards. I want to know that I will be supported and enabled to add quality to the gift of long life expectancy.'
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