Care services minister Ivan Lewis has signalled reforms to the social care charging system on the back of the Wanless report and ahead of next year’s comprehensive spending review.
However, at a Commission for Social Care Inspection conference in London, he rejected free social care as “complete nonsense”. Lewis said the debate about the respective contributions of individuals and the state to pensions needed to be repeated in social care.
He said: “We can’t have a credible, mature debate about the future of social care without a debate about who pays for what.”
Sir Derek Wanless’s report called for the means-tested system to be replaced by one in which people received a free level of care they could top up with state assistance.
The Treasury is considering a less ambitious version of Wanless’s model (Lewis hints government is receptive to case for higher social care spend, 25 May), while the Department of Health is reviewing social care funding.
Meanwhile, the Local Government Association has launched a campaign to extend social care to more older people.