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Long-term elderly care paper fails to address funding question

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Andrew Dilnot's proposals for long-term care funding have once again been kicked into the long grass as health secretary Andrew Lansley today unveiled the long-awaited white paper on social care.
Long-term elderly care paper fails to address funding question

He said government supported the ‘principles’ of Dilnot’s care-cap, but added any funding discussions will need to be considered at the next spending review.

The Dilnot Commission last year proposed capping the amount people pay for care at £35,000.

However, new proposals included a universal deferred payment scheme so pensioners would not have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care.

Instead, local councils would be permitted to lend money to individuals to cover their care costs, before recouping it through the sale of their home after they die.

Lansley also proposed a scheme that would see the elderly choose to pay premiums to the state to ensure their costs for care and accommodation would be capped.

The government also said it would develop a major new information and advice strategy to help people when care needs arise.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said the white paper “fails the credibility test” and is “half a plan” as government failed to address the question over funding.

However, Chris Horlick, managing director of care at Partnership acknowledged disappointment for the sector, but said credit must be given.

He said: “In particular we welcome the notion [government] will set up an expert working group to look at how the financial services sector as a whole can contribute and make links with pension benefits, wider services and specialist financial advice.

“Financial advice has been our core lobby for a long-time and it’s lovely to see it in the progress report on funding in black and white.”


Read the retirement experts’ views on the white paper

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