The Government is rumoured to have put on hold its consultation on social care funding until next Summer. While the next 18 months of the legislative timetable may be full of Brexit-related matters, Aegon says this is the perfect time for the Government to be consulting widely on the crucially important matter of social care funding, which will impact families for decades to come.
Steven Cameron, Pensions Director at Aegon said:
“Social care for the elderly and how it should be paid for will touch every family across the UK. The Government promised in its Manifesto to consult on social care funding including introducing an overall cap on how much any individual would be expected to pay. The suggestions that the consultation may now be delayed until next Summer will come as a massive disappointment to all those facing the current uncertainty around social care funding. While Brexit preparations may have put many other important matters on hold, social care funding will be critical long after the UK leaves the EU. Now is the perfect time for the Government to start a wide ranging consultation with individuals, care professionals and financial experts on how to arrive at a clear, fair and sustainable deal on sharing care costs between individuals and the state.
“There will always be a reason to delay. This issue of social care needs to be put at the top of the agenda and kept there until a solution is found.”
“Aegon research has shown a keen interest across all age groups in finding a fair solution with the majority (56%) expressing an interest in making advance provision for social care. Only one in 4 people believe the Government should cover all costs, with the remainder accepting the need for individuals to pay their fair share. But almost 9 in 10 (87%) believe there should be an overall maximum an individual should ever face paying, something the Government committed to consult on.
“Two in five people favoured pensions to fund social care costs, but to turn this into reality, people will have to increase contributions paid in. Selling or releasing equity from their home was chosen by fewer than a third of people with insurance policies and a dedicated ‘care ISA’ viewed as less attractive.
“Taking people’s house value into account when determining if people have sufficient assets to be paying for care is controversial with a clear majority of people unwilling to sacrifice their home.
“Our research shows a strong interest in coming up with solutions to this huge societal challenge and the Government needs to advance its long overdue consultation which needs to look at a wide range of options if we are to meet individual preferences and encourage as many people as possible to plan ahead.”