New Bill to cap care costs to help elderly keep their home
Posted on 25/06/2018 by
ELDERLY people will not be forced to sell their homes to pay for social care under proposals for a new Bill being drawn up by the Government. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is understood to favour a cap on social care, which would limit how much people would need to pay for it.
Elderly people will NOT be forced to sell their homes to pay for care
The level has yet to be determined.
Pensioners paying for care would also be guaranteed a higher minimum amount – or “floor” – so that when a person’s assets fall to a certain level payments will start to be made by the Government.
If the proposals are given the go ahead by the Treasury in this autumn’s Budget, they are expected to feature in a Green Paper on social care later in the year.
Baroness Altmann, a former pensions minister, has suggested a possible floor of £100,000 and a cap also at £100,000, but she pointed out that this would not include living costs, which could double the expense for someone needing care.
She suggested younger people pay an extra penny of national insurance to help fund it, while over-50s could contribute from savings, pensions or value of their home by putting money in a care Isa.
Sir Steve Webb, another former pensions minister, said of the new proposals: “Where you live in the country will really matter.
"If you live in an expensive house in the south of England, you want a cap and if you own a cheaper home in the north of England you want to see a floor.
“If your house is worth £400,000 a floor of £100,000 is no use to you, because you could spend £300,000 on care costs.
“Conversely, if your house isn’t worth much more than £100,000, then you want to hit the floor as quickly as you can.”
HEARTBREAKING Elderly couple forced to live apart due to lack of space at care home
What happened to Norah is a national scandal, it was heartbreaking to see her sell her home
In last year’s general election, the Tories lost votes because their manifesto said people needing social care would have to pay until their assets, including their home, reached a floor of £100,000.
Lady Altmann pointed out the unfairness of this system which would see “a millionaire with cancer get their costs covered by the NHS, while a little old widow with dementia who has only ever had a house and savings in the Post Office loses it all”.
A 2011 review chaired by Sir Andrew Dilnot recommended a lifetime cap on care costs of around £35,000.
The Coalition government agreed a cap of £72,000, but delayed its introduction to save money.
Meanwhile, a new report showed families paying up to £10,000 a year out of their own pockets to fund the care of elderly relatives, providing essentials including food and toiletries.
The study was for health insurer Benenden.
It refers to the “tipping point” when the number of over-65s overtake those aged under-15 for the first time.
That is due to be in 2020.
Hundreds of retired people protest against planned pension cuts in Greece
The Daily Express is urging readers to sign our petition calling for the appointment of a Minister for Older People, as part of our Respect For The Elderly crusade.
It states: “This role needs to be established because currently nobody is taking overall responsibility for ensuring society treats older citizens fairly.”
Nearly 3,000 people have signed. At 10,000 signatures, the Government has to respond.
The online petition is at https:// petition.parliament.uk/petitions/220923.
Norah Fox, 95, spent a stunning £450,000 on residential home care before her death in January.
Everything she and her husband Ray worked for and hoped to pass down to their family has gone.
Her bungalow, valued at £250,000, was sold and their savings of £150,000 were eaten up by the bills of a Bupa care home.
Her pension was factored into the cost of her care. Mrs Fox, who was widowed in 2000, paid £1,057 a week for her room.
That was set to rise to £1,200 this year.
Bupa raised the fees by 20 per cent over 24 months.
The inheritance great-grandmother Mrs Fox had hoped to leave to her family has been decimated.
Yesterday, her daughter-in-law Elly Fox, 64, of Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, said: “What happened to Norah is a national scandal, it was heartbreaking to see her sell her home.
“She was an office worker and Ray an engineer for the civil service. They came from humble backgrounds and worked hard for all they had.
“They scrimped and saved and she saw every penny gone while others in the same home never saved a penny and yet they get everything paid for.
“There should have been a cap on the costs charged.
“The fees are extortionate and not good value.
“Norah was horrified at the idea that she and others had to sell their home and leave their families nothing after a lifetime of paying tax and hard work.”