Money: Can we afford our moral obligation to old people?
Sunday 07 March 1999
People going into a home would still be expected to pay for their food and accommodation as long as they could afford it. That would come to about pounds 6,300, roughly half the total cost of a place in an average residential home,a third of the cost of care in a nursing home.
It would be easier for the next generation to afford the cost of private insurance to pay for food and accommodation alone, but that would not be much help for the current generation of old people. Many elderly people could still be forced to sell their own homes to meet their bills.
The crucial issue is the cost to the Exchequer. The majority of commissioners believe the extra cost would be little more than pounds 1bn a year initially and the likely escalation would be largely taken care of by economic growth overtime.
But the two dissenting members - out of 12 - argue that if the costs of personal care are free for all, many more families will put elderly relatives into a home or move them from residential to nursing care.
Combined with an ageing population, they believe that the cost of the scheme would rapidly become excessive and a future government would welsh on the promise, as the last government was forced to do with Serps.
The dissenters think that the most the Government could be expected to do is to pay for strictly nursing care, delay the start of means testing for the first three months in care, introduce a loan scheme to pay the initial costs, and allow old people to get some state help well before their assets fall to the current threshold of pounds 16,000; moves that could be implemented at half the price of the report's full recommendations.
But the absence of unanimity will delay any reforms, and even then the cheaper option is likely to appeal irresistibly to the Treasury and the Prime Minister.
n Isabel Berwick is on holiday.
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
QS university world rankings: Imperial College London leapfrogs Oxford to join Cambridge as best British university
Scottish independence exclusive: Millions of banknotes sent to Scotland in case Yes vote sparks run on ATMs
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
iJobs Money & Business
£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...
£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...
£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...