Sector responds to adult social care green paper

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Sector bodies today issued their response to the government’s green paper on the future funding of adult social care as the consultation ended today.

They reflect concerns raised during the four months since the government announced its plans to create a national care service, ending the postcode lottery for care and full the means-testing of personal care costs.

These include:

The government’s plans to use the budget for attendance allowance – a benefit paid to older disabled people – to fund increases in social care.

The impact on the green paper proposals of the government’s decision – made two months after the green paper was published – to promise free personal care at home for people with critical care needs.

Its failure to produce the financial modelling underpinning the green paper.

Its decision to rule out free personal care for all or increased use of taxation to fund social care.

The green paper’s focus on older people rather than all adults.

Main proposals

The green paper’s main proposals are:  

A single national assessment system and eligibility threshold, with users able to carry their entitlement to care with them when they move. The system would be either financed entirely by central government, with users of equivalent needs and means receiving the same amount of state funding; or part-funded by councils from council tax and determine, with some local variation in care packages.

For all eligible users to have at least a quarter to a third of their personal care costs met by the state, funded by transferring money from disability benefits, notably attendance allowance. Poorer people, including most younger adults, would receive extra means-tested support with personal care costs.

For remaining personal care costs to be funded in one of three ways:- a “partnership option”, where users would find the extra funds themselves; a voluntary insurance scheme (the “insurance option”), in which people would pay premiums of approximately £22,000; a compulsory insurance scheme (“the comprehensive option”), where people would pay premiums of £17,000 to £20,000. Funding all personal care costs from general taxation was ruled out on affordability grounds.

Care home accommodation costs to remain means-tested but with homeowners having the option of having costs met by councils upfront through a deferred payments scheme and fees recovered on the sale of the property.

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