A lifetime cap on care costs of £35,000 would cost up to £3.6bn by 2035, according to research into reforming long-term care for older people.
In 2011, the Dilnot Commission recommended a £35,000 cap on the amount an individual must pay for their own care costs during their lifetime, and research published by the University of East Anglia, the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Pensions Policy Institute have estimated that this would cost £3.6bn by 2035.
It also found that rolling out a minimum level of social care to all older people with high needs and limited resources would cost a similar amount.
‘How best to reform the system of financing social care has proved a challenge for successive governments,’ said associate professorial research fellow Raphael Wittenberg, from the personal social services research unit at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
‘There are difficult trade-offs to address. How far should additional resources be focused on relaxing the means test to help people with substantial care needs who because of the means test currently fund their own care?
‘And how far should they be focused on people with limited resources who currently do not receive publicly funded care because their needs are not assessed as sufficiently substantial to meet the eligibility criteria?
‘In order to inform decisions we have examined in detail the likely impacts of a range of potential reforms.’
The report reveals that alleviating the means test would permit those who fund their own care with their savings or incomes to receive publicly funded care.