Care costs cap 'will be introduced'
Published on 09 January 2013 11:30 AM
The Government has pledged to introduce a cap on the amount older people are expected to pay towards their care.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg revealed the plan in an answer to a question posed by Liberal Democrat former health minister Paul Burstow, who noted that the Government restated its commitment to a cap in principle in its mid-term review this week.
Mr Burstow called on the Deputy Prime Minister to commit to such a cap in practice rather than just principle in order to 'end the care lottery' and 'give people the peace of mind they deserve'.
In his reply Mr Clegg said the Government will publish a detailed response within the next few weeks that will 'address this issue of how to avoid individuals and households facing catastrophic costs in funding their care'.
The Deputy Prime Minister went on to say that the coalition has always agreed with the 'principles and basic models set out by Andrew Dilnot'.
He was referring to a review carried out by economist Mr Dilnot which recommended a cap of between £25,000 and £50,000 in the amount individuals are expected to contribute towards their care.
Such a policy would be designed to ensure that older people do not find themselves having to sell their home in order to meet the outlay to pay for their care.
No specific commitment just yet
However, the Government has not yet committed to any specific figure and it has assessed various options such as a £75,000 and a £100,000 limit.
Mr Clegg told his Liberal Democrat colleague: 'Of course there is an issue about how we pay for this in future, but as you quite rightly identify the first step is to enshrine this approach in legislation which we will be seeking to do during this parliament.'
Age UK's Charity Director General Michelle Mitchell urged the Government to stop prevaricating on social care funding. She commented: 'Older people and their families have waited in hope for over a year and a half since the publication of the Dilnot report to find out when the Government will commit not in principle, but in practice to a cap on the cost of care.
'Age UK calls on the Government to announce a fair and affordable cap and raise the means tested threshold for social care. This is an absolute priority in order to ensure that vulnerable older people living in ill health and disability can finally be freed from the fear of spiralling care costs.'
Copyright Press Association 2013