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Auto-Enrolment Plans Considered To Tackle Social Care Crisis

MattHancockThe Department of Health and Social Care is considering a pensions-style opt-out system to tackle Britain’s mounting social care funding crisis, health secretary Matt Hancock has revealed.

The Local Government Association warned earlier this year that adult social care services face a £3.5 billion funding shortfall by 2025 just to sustain existing standards of care.

Speaking to the Telegraph, the health secretary said  that the government’s upcoming Green Paper on social care could include plans for every adult in England to pay into a national fund to cover care for their later years.

“I’m attracted to the model of auto-enrolment, which has been so successful in pensions,” he said.

“If you make it the norm, tell people what it is they have to do to look after themselves, it’s often the case that very few people will opt out.

“It takes away the injustice of people losing all that they have saved for.”

The plans would mean that people would have to actively choose not to contribute towards the social care system.

Under the current system in England, councils fund all or part of a person’s social care if they own less than £23,250 in capital.

Theresa May came under fire during last year’s snap election campaign after vowing to raise that threshold to £100,000. The plans were derided as a “dementia tax” by critics.

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