Care cost cap 'will help one in eight'
Published on 18 July 2013 11:30 AM
One in eight older people will benefit from the cap on care costs set to be introduced in England in 2016, the Government says.
Ministers believe the move is a solution to the crisis in care for older people, but with the £72,000 cap twice as high as originally recommended the number benefiting will be less.
Labour says the cap won't help older or disabled people, who are struggling to get the support they need now.
The Government is consulting on its plans, but forecasts show it could be four years after changes are implemented before significant numbers of those aged over 65 begin to reach the cap.
The plans include a deferred payment scheme allowing local councils to pay fees before reclaiming them from estates after death, meaning people wouldn't have to sell their homes to fund care.
Care minister Norman Lamb said the aim was to help older people financially, encourage everyone to plan better for later life and persuade the insurance industry to develop more products covering care costs.
Only a small percentage of older people will receive support
Age UK's charity director general, Michelle Mitchell, said: 'We welcome the consultation as one more step towards transforming our crumbling, unfair social care system for current and future generations of older people, nonetheless it is clear the new system is complex and there is still a long way to go to make sure the system works and achieves its aim.
'However, it is crucial that the public understands what costs are included under the cap and what impact the proposals will have. With a cap set at £72,000 it is clear that only a relatively small percentage of older people will receive financial support as a result - namely those who have the greatest care needs for a considerable amount of time.
'It will also only apply to those who are assessed as eligible - so people may be surprised that even those with quite considerable care needs may not have access to the system. Age UK would like to see it open to all those who would currently be assessed as having "moderate" care needs, to encourage people to seek support before they reach crisis point.'
Copyright Press Association 2013