Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Report may back £50,000 cap on care

A report on social care may recommend a £50,000 cap on the amount anyone in England is expected to pay

An eagerly-awaited report on social care may recommend a £50,000 cap on the amount anyone in England is expected to pay for care in their old age, its author indicated.

Economist Andrew Dilnot declined to reveal the contents of his report, being published on Monday, but made clear that the cap proposal was under serious consideration.

And he ruled out recommending that the state should pay for all personal care, as happens in Scotland.

At present, elderly people in England with savings of over £23,250 have to pay for personal care such as support with washing, dressing and eating.

If they enter a residential care home the £23,250 threshold includes the value of their property, leading to many people being forced to sell their family homes to pay for care.

Mr Dilnot said that the £50,000 cap proposal should save people from being forced to sell their homes, and might allow the development of a market for financial products like insurance to pay for care.

He told the BBC there would be real anger if ministers failed to act."I think there is a real chance we will see action this time." said Mr Dilnot. "They know that the public at large is extremely cross about a system that is confusing and seems to them unfair.

"They have set up this commission, they are all listening and I think they realise that if they don't act, the public at large and the organisations that represent them in this area will be really very angry. That's not a world the politicians would like to see."

Mr Dilnot refused to say what would be in Monday's report. But he told the BBC: "One idea that has been talked about is a partnership - a new kind of way of splitting responsibility between the individual and the state - with the individual coping with the first part of the cost as they do at the moment.

"The idea is to put a cap on that, so if you do have very high care needs, the state comes in and pays once you get beyond a certain level."

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