Half Of Over 55s Think Government Needs To Seriously Rethink Social Care

As the Chancellor’s Spring Budget approaches next week, Audley Group is calling for a phased approach to the end of the stamp duty holiday rather than a hard stop in June as rumoured, and reform to the social care system. The housing market will not withstand the shock of immediate cancellation of the stamp duty holiday and the social care system is in need of fundamental reform. It was struggling long before the pandemic and has borne a significant brunt of the difficulties experienced in the last year. It can’t, and shouldn’t, continue on the same course.

Research from Audley Group has found:

  • Half (51%) of over 55s think the government needs to seriously rethink how they manage care in the UK
  • A fifth (20%) of the UK said they do not trust the state care services to look after them sufficiently, with only 7% saying the state care services have their full trust
  • Demand for suitable housing options is also growing – 48% of over 55s want more suitable housing options for older people compared to 38% of all age groups
  • 42% would like greater support for older people who want to downsize their property
  • The need for more suitable housing is set to grow, recent figures from the ILC showed the supply of retirement housing will need to be boosted by over a third to meet demand by 2040 and 8.8% growth will be needed by 2025.

More detail on research can be shared upon request

Nick Sanderson, CEO, Audley Group, said, “Whether the stamp duty holiday ends in March or June, the housing market won’t easily withstand the shock of an immediate cancellation. Buyers and sellers will still be left in limbo, just twelve weeks later. The policy was implemented to get the market moving and if the Chancellor wants this to continue, it needs to be phased out gradually rather than a hard stop.

“The stamp duty holiday has succeeded in some parts of the housing market but not all of it. The Chancellor must use the Budget to also acknowledge the need for more targeted measures. Specific support for those downsizing or moving into housing with care is one area that could have a significant impact on the whole housing market, but has been largely neglected.

“And finally, many will call on the Chancellor to support a social care system that has borne a significant brunt of the difficulties caused by the pandemic. A system that was already underfunded and creaking as our population ages. But I challenge that thinking. Some short-term support might be necessary, but it isn’t the Chancellor and his Budget that can make the systemic change needed to reform the system from the ground up. The only feasible solution is reducing the need for care within the UK. This involves a more holistic view of social care for older people. We, as a nation, need to change the narrative around social care services and make them a last resort, and instead, improve the planning system to facilitate the building of more suitable housing, with care and wellbeing services attached. Only this will take the intolerable pressure off hospitals and residential care.”