Taxpayers may have to pay new levy to meet future cost of care homes

 

Taxpayers may have to pay an "old age care levy" to help fund the nursing homes of the future. A groundbreaking report commissioned by the Government will recommend next month that it must significantly increase the amount it spends on the elderly.

The proposal raises the prospect of a new or increased tax rate to help to pay for an aging population, as the Government looks for a new way of funding care for the elderly and adults with disabilities in 2012.

At present the state, through local councils, funds residential care home places only for people with assets of less than £23,000 a year. But Andrew Dilnot, the chair of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support, told The Independent that such an arbitrary cut-off rate was unfair. He said it resulted in some people being forced to sell their homes and spending in excess of £100,000 on nursing care.

"There's a big problem here – because the amount of money [that people need to spend on care] can be very, very high indeed.

"If you look at 65-year-olds today, a quarter of them will not have to spend anything on their care needs but one in 10 of them could be looking at cost in excess of £100,000 over their life and that's a really big sum," he said. "That's what leads to people's concern about the unfairness of the current system. The question is what do we do? How can we make the system work better."

Mr Dilnot, a former head of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, said the commission had concluded that in future the taxpayer must take on more of the burden – but combined with individual contributions.

"We have already ruled out apurely tax-funded regime and the reason we have ruled that out is that because of the squeeze on public finances," he said.

"The other extreme is just relying on the private insurance model – and that's where we are now. It doesn't work because the private insurance companies don't want to take all the risk and uncertainty – they are just not interested.

"What we are looking at is the space in the middle – saying, what sorts of ways might there be of sharing the responsibility between the state and the individual? So we can have cover against the risk without the state having to take the whole burden on."

Mr Dilnot also hinted that the responsibility for care homes might be removed from local councils and could be merged with the NHS to make efficiency savings.

"Social care is the last vestige we've got of the poor laws. Its still run by local authorities because that's what was decided in 1948 – it seemed like the natural thing to do because it was not an issue on anything like the scale that it is today," he said.

"My own feeling is that the system we have at the moment is not one that we can be very proud of. It is inefficient and ineffective. It is complex and there is a lack of integration across bits of the public sector."

The Commission has to submit its report to the Social Care Minister, Paul Burstow, by July.

More than 250 organisations, including local authorities, charities and think- tanks, have responded to its call for evidence.

Mr Burstow has indicated that the Government intends to legislate for a new way of funding care for the elderly and adults with disabilities in 2012.

News
Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
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