Government does u-turn on capping care costs
Coalition leaders have accepted the Dilnot Commission’s recommendations for capping care costs, newspapers have reported today.
Senior Whitehall sources have indicated the Coalition will announce this autumn the revival of the Commission’s call for a £35,000 lifetime cap in individual contributions, according to reports in The Guardian and the Daily Mail.
The move would reverse the direction of last month’s social care white paper, which proposed councils would offer long-term deferred payments to the elderly to help fund social care - to be recouped when care recipients die.
At the time of the white paper’s launch, health secretary, Andrew Lansley suggested the Dilnot plans would be shelved because the Treasury would not bear the costs – forecast at £2.1bn in the first year and rising to £4.2bn annually by 2025 owing to an increasingly ageing population.
However, sources indicated plans to adopt a system of capped care costs - recently discussed by the Coalition’s quad consisting of David Cameron, Nick Clegg, George Osborne and Danny Alexander - could take effect from 2017, in the middle of the next spending round.
Liberal Democrat care minister, Paul Burstow, recently told council chiefs they should temper expectations around a settlement for care funding in the next spending review.
Addressing the LGA’s community wellbeing board on 25 July, Mr Burstow said he was ‘puzzled by the expectation we [the Coalition] would step outside the 2010 spending review’.
But last week deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said : ‘I personally have also felt we should go further and faster to deliver a properly funded system of social care for the elderly. That’s maybe something we can give an extra push to.’
Dr Jonathan Carr-West, director at think tank the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) said the Dilnot Commission is the only plan with has broad cross-party support and should be seized on.
‘Social care is the largest local government spend. Our work with councils across the country has highlighted a funding gap of around £634million per year,’ Dr Carr-West said. ‘With growing demographic pressures and reductions in local government funding, social care is the issue of our generation.’
John, not so much the family silver as family home. ?35k is still more than many people could afford without having to sell or remortgage their family home. It's better than the higher caps that have been talked about but only in the same way that being punched in the shoulder is better than being punched in the solar plexus. Less painful but you've still been punched. There does seem to be a trend these days to announce things will be really bad then reveal they won't be quite as bad.Stephen Booth, Added: Thursday, 16 August 2012 03:06 PM
This is ludicrous. They just don't get it. This needs means testing. For many of the poorer end of society, it STILL means selling the family silver, leaving nothing behind.....John Rudkin, ex Public Sector Community Manager., Added: Thursday, 16 August 2012 02:43 PM
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