Age reform at heart of Queen's speech
Published on 03 May 2013 11:30 AM
The funding of social care and pension shortfalls will all be among the issues addressed in the Queen's speech on May 8.
The monarch will outline long-term reforms designed to tackle challenges facing a UK economy with an older population.
These include probably the most important, complicated new law in what is likely to be the Government's last round of serious legislation before the general election: the Department of Health's cap on social care funding.
Cap on care costs
The ceiling on care costs, as recommended by the Dilnot commission, chaired by Andrew Dilnot, will be fixed at £72,000 from April 2016.
This means the State will intervene and pay the full costs if UK residents have already paid £72,000 towards home-based care or care home fees.
April 2016 will also see the residential care means-test threshold raised from just over £23,000 to £118,000.
Chancellor George Osborne has said that the cap will give 'peace of mind' to those wanting to plan for their old age and leave savings to their children.
He said it should help those not wanting to sell their own homes to cover the cost of their long-term social care.
Mr Osborne says that the changes should help 100,000 more people who would not get any support under the system now.
Single-tier weekly pension to be introduced
Another reform set to be announced is the introduction by Department of Work and Pensions of a single-tier weekly pension set at £144, also starting from 2016.
This replaces the current basic pension of £107 plus various means-tested top-ups.
New legislation will also have to define the boundary between free NHS care and means-tested adult social care.
Other new laws will see a crime bill aimed at simplifying police powers and giving officers new authority to disperse crowds.
This comes in the wake of the Government being accused of downgrading anti-social behaviour legislation.
A financial services banking reform bill will implement the final conclusions of the banking standards commission chaired by Andrew Tyrie.
Wednesday's speech will be the product of horse trading within the coalition and between departments.
Copyright Press Association 2013