Local MP and former Care Minister, Caroline Dinenage MP, has welcomed today’s announcement by the Prime Minister which includes reforms to adult social care.
Successive governments have failed to provide a long-term solution for social care. The system will finally be reformed, ending unpredictable and catastrophic care costs faced by thousands, and making the system fairer for all.
From April 2022, the government will introduce a new, UK-wide 1.25 per cent Health and Social Care Levy, ringfenced for health and social care. This will be based on National Insurance contributions (NICs) and from 2023 will be legislatively separate. To ensure everyone contributes fairly, all working adults, including those over the state pension age, will pay the levy and the rates of dividend tax will also increase by 1.25% to help fund this package.
Every individual will contribute according to their means. Those who earn more pay more, with the highest earning 14 per cent of people paying around half the revenues. This will raise around £12 billion in extra funding per year, to be invested in frontline health and social care across the UK over the next three years.
Currently, families live with the fear of losing everything they own – including potentially a lifetime’s worth of savings. Around one in seven must pay over £100,000 for care, with bills falling indiscriminately on some of the sickest and most vulnerable.
Thanks to the action announced today, no one in England will now have to pay more than £86,000 in care costs over the course of their lifetime. This is equivalent to around three years in care.
This will apply regardless of where they live, how old they are, what their condition is, or how much they happen to earn.
At the same time, the government will support those without savings – with the state covering all care costs for anyone with assets under £20,000. Anyone with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 will be expected to contribute to the cost of their care but will also receive state support, which will be means-tested. The new £100,000 limit is over 4 times higher than the current limit of £23,250, meaning many more people will be eligible for support than under the current system.
The overall system will be made fairer, to ensure those who fund their own care do not pay more than state-funded individuals for the equivalent standard of care.
Commenting, Caroline said:
“I believe that we must all receive dignified care in old age. With an ageing population, adult social care has been one of the biggest challenges that our country faces and as a former Minister for Care, this is something that I care about deeply.
It has always been clear that money alone would not fix the problem and reform has been needed to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve.
Today’s announcement makes the adult social care system much fairer and offers more support to those who need it.”