Report may back £50,000 cap on care costs for elderly

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 has 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 yesterday.



"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."



A £50,000 cap would mean that no-one would pay more than that amount - even if their care bill reaches as much as £150,000, as some do.



Mr Dilnot said that some campaigners had called for the state to pick up the whole bill for personal care, as recommended by a Royal Commission in 1999.



But he said: "The reason we are not going to recommend it is that in countries that have gone down that route, when the public finances have got tight - as they do from time to time - eligibilities have been squeezed and the amounts given out have been reduced, so again we see the most vulnerable suffer."



Mr Dilnot said he hoped his proposals would provide a foundation for a new social care system which would command public confidence for as long as 50 years.



"If a cap were put in place, we could take away the fear that people could lose everything they have built up - and in particular, people seem reasonably anxious that they might lose all the value of their house," he said.



"They would still have to pay something, but much less than if they end up with high care needs at the moment."



Mr Dilnot said the current system was "a muddle" because there was no way of predicting what an individual's care bill may be and no way of insuring against the risk.



"People feel frightened about the prospect of needing care when they get old, frightened about the financial consequences and we need to find a way of taking that fear away," he said.



"All the other big risks we face - the risk of needing healthcare, the risk of our house burning down, the risk of a car crash - we are insured for, either by the state or private sector.



"Here there is no possibility. The state only supports you if you run out of all money apart from the last £23,000 and the private sector will not offer you insurance cover because there is too much uncertainty."

Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

    Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

    Early Years Educator

    £68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

    Nursery Nurse

    £69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

    Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

    £117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam