Latest Public Sector News

28.06.11

Public in denial over social care costs

LGA chair Baroness Eaton (pictured) has asked council leaders to sign a declaration to be sent to Downing Street demanding the Coalition acts now over social care funding.

A government commission chaired by economist Andrew Dilnot is expected to recommend joint responsibility between individuals and the Government on paying for care.

The commission is expected to recommend a cap to limit the liability that individuals face for care costs to around £50,000 each, with the state stepping in to cover bills above this level. The poorest people will not have to pay at all through a system of means testing.

The controversial suggestion is reported to have divided the Cabinet – and, like virtually all suggestions on ways to deal with the cost of care, is deeply unpopular with the public.

But Baroness Eaton said: “Governments can’t keep dodging the funding issue surrounding adult social care. It’s only going to get worse as our population ages and the longer ministers prevaricate the worse things will become.

“Reforming adult social care is the most important issue this country is facing. There is no point setting up a much-needed commission into adult social care funding only to ignore its findings because of fears the solution may be too difficult or unpopular to implement. Government has to step up and the money has got to be found from somewhere.”

Polls show that nearly half of people think the Government should pay the entire cost of everyone’s care, but the costs to taxpayers would be unthinkable, ministers say, insisting that people will have to cover at least some of the costs.

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