Cap on lifetime care costs only tinkers around edges, say critics
Pensioners’ leaders tonight condemned the Government’s plans to limit care home bills for the elderly as “tinkering around the edges” of much-needed change.
The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed plans to cap the potential lifetime cost of nursing care at £75,000 with only pensioners with assets of more than £123,000 paying anything towards their care at all. But thousands more people will be hit with inheritance tax bills to pay for the policy because of a three-year extension of the freeze in the £325,000 threshold – £650,000 for couples – at a rate of 40 per cent.
Mr Hunt said the measures would end the “unfairness” of pensioners being forced to sell their homes to pay for care and would allow people to take out insurance to cover the £75,000 maximum outlay. However, Labour suggested that the measures did not go far enough and questioned why the Government had not accepted the recommendations put forward by the independent Commission chaired by the economist Andrew Dilnot to impose a £35,000 limit on care costs.
Mr Dilnot himself said he regretted that the cap had been set at £75,000 but insisted it would mean that pensioners no longer had to be “terrified” of the consequences of needing care. “We said it should be between £25,000 and £50,000 in 2010/11 prices. The cap that is being proposed is £75,000 [at] 2017 prices,” he said.
“That’s the equivalent of £61,000 in our terms, so it is higher than we would have wanted – £11,000 higher than the top end of our range and I regret that but I recognise that the public finances are in a pretty tricky state”. However, the National Pensioners Convention described the reforms as “about as credible as a Findus Lasagne”.
NPC general secretary Dot Gibson said: “The social care system needs urgent and radical reform, but these proposals simply tinker at the edges. Setting a lifetime cap on care costs of £75,000 will help just 10 per cent of those needing care, whilst the majority will be left to struggle on with a third rate service.”
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo shot dead at war memorial
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
FCKH8's provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing reinstated by YouTube
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£60 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Due to the continual growth and...
£70 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Welsh Speaking Learning Support Assis...
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...