” If the cap fits” – Commission on Funding Care & Support – 5

The Dilnot Commission is due to report in July and in true political style they have decided to fly some kites before making any formal announcements.  In an interview with The Daily Mail, Andrew Dilnot dropped out clear hints as to the direction of his teams’ thinking.

The biggest of these is the idea of setting a £50,000 cap on how much elderly people will have to pay for their own care before the Government steps in and picks up the cost.  This is a clever intervention in several ways:-

  • Firstly, it can be portrayed as being a universal subsidy and therefore it is better than the current open-ended commitment that has to be shouldered by asset rich people.  This means that if you have to sell your own home, you won’t have to use all the proceeds to cover care costs.
  • Secondly, it creates a platform of limited exposure for the insurance industry, which should stimulate more competitive long-term care insurance products. That should enable people to insure themselves against the risk of needing long-term care, which currently is prohibitively expensive.
  • Thirdly, from a treasury viewpoint, it still leaves the biggest burden of costs to be funded by elderly people themselves.  80% of older people are now homeowners and won’t qualify for immediate state support which will still be means tested.  Additionally, most people admitted to residential care survive for less than two years so many will never reach the £50,000 cap.

This is a simple and clever solution which neatly puts a level of certainty into the cost of care.  Although it still leaves a burden to be paid by elderly people themselves.  That is no different to the current situation and there is evidence to suggest that older residents and their relatives would accept this trade-off.

One hurdle that has still to be jumped is that this is a subsidy to the wealthiest older people and will require additional funding from somewhere.  As the next election approaches, this hurdle will no doubt be easier to negotiate when politicians realise votes are at stake.

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5 Responses to ” If the cap fits” – Commission on Funding Care & Support – 5

  1. A flying Kite lesson? How much when? I think all of us in the UK will need this option: One lesson to learn is how much one has to spend before one recieves any benifits. Money for old rope this is certainly not it. If we have a cap of £50K then the savings/Funds we have before recieving this benifit must be graeter than the existing £16K? What say you. Support for life and the NHS and social security for life has now gone? What do the rest of us do now? It looks a bit bleak.

  2. To David Cameron The Rt. Honourable MP
    Cc Mark Lancaster The Rt. Honourable MP
    Daily Telegraph- Dilnot report-Pay more taxes- by whom?
    I have not yet read the report, just the extracts and leaks that abound in the media.
    It is uncomfortable reading for all of us on medium or modest incomes retired now or working.
    Under the previous governments homeownership was encouraged for the general population? Most of us sought to take up the challenge and become house owners. Bricks and Mortar where regarded over the longer period as a sound investment, for both are future and our children’s future.
    This dream is now coming to reality and those mega rich may watch, as we of modest incomes squirm in our deliberations about whether we utilise the monies now for our own future and care, or pass on the proceeds to the next generation. I suggest it applies to us all rich or poor or of modest incomes we have to pay for our welfare and care in old age (The tax thresholds raising for those on pensions for instance), and that the burden of taxation should be more evenly shared out to the ‘haves’ rather than the’ have not’s
    Looking into the future of the next generation, I wonder if we in the UK adopt the European Model, and become tenants in rented accommodation near to our place of work. And own or hope to own a summer house at somewhere of our own choosing. This would be a sociality change of attitude within the UK, and with immigration paying for our pension benefits’ the European immigrants being used to the tenancy agreements that are the norm in Europe: The future outlook for UKplc in Europe will or may be will subtlety changing, I wonder? Into mainly rented tenants, in the UK.
    With the growing population in Europe the land for freehold house building comes at a premium, and an Englishman’s’ castle may be a past dream for our children and their offspring.
    I wonder what the men in grey suits are dreaming up next for our dilatation. More taxes for certain? Who pays is the question, and how do you share the taxation load/burden in society equitably?
    David Freeman aged 69

  3. John, today’s Telegraph has many items about the state of Southern Cross the care provider, to whom you have devoted many words.
    I am at a loss to understand the current position, other than to recognise Southern Cross as a company are bankrupt?
    The media appear to be saying with polititions that was is important now is the level of care?
    I fail to understand this! The company Southern Cross is a management company in name only and has no visible assets? If it has then these should be declared, and used to stabilise the situation. As a holding management company Southern Cross must hold monies sufficient to conduct day to day business, and backers to ensure this is the case? Under CSIC (The Quality Care Commission) I do not know what the criteria are for conducting a Care Business. However under Health and Safety 1974 Act and a Safety Policy they are not ‘Fit for Purpose’, and the day to day management structure from the directors down is very questionable to say the least, if not on a health and care issue then on a financial issue.
    It appears that the Landlords who have the assets acted in cooperation association with each other to create a management company as operator which for business reasons they called ‘Southern Cross’. This company was given no assets and only management responsibilities? The landlords held on to their assets which they sold on for gain? Again now as a sensible business head the assets for running the business must be in the bricks and mortar, and in the current economic climate have reduced from the peak of when the Landlords formed the management company of Southern Cross.
    Amongst this association of landlords who is responsible and who is the holding company? Why are they not now responsible for the whole of the Southern Cross holdings?
    The downturn in market values must have been foreseen and a good responsible company anticipated. In health and safety language the question of ‘What If’ must be asked and answered as a risk assessment.
    As I have said before this company is registered in the North East and was created under the last Labour government, since then everyone with money in the organisation has run, like rats leaving a sinking ship? It leaves a bitter taste.
    Coming to today the Care Industry and local government must have a good idea of what it costs to invest in facilities(Bricks and mortar), and care facilities, and the ongoing management staff costs to administer such an establishment?
    The taxpayer and the residents need to know these facts before the Southern Cross Company and the care industry in general whinge on about a financial return for their loss and profit accounts. The government and local councils if the allegation is true regulate this industry too harshly? Then they must realise care for the elderly is a social requirement not a business opportunity for the few to walk away with all the goodies, and have no responsible attitude towards society.

  4. John I cannot find my earlier piece on a Virtual Village to which I wished to add this piece.
    John I am now going to allude to a virtual village, and the concept of a ‘Befriending Society’.
    The other day my ears were severely boxed, and as a mariner I was holed below the water-line, and sank without trace.
    This is for those over 55 years of age: But could be applicable to any age group?
    The occasion was a gentle discussion from a widow, who became aware that an acquaintance had suffered a mishap, such that the result was a 999 call and a trip by ambulance to the local hospital.
    So far so good! Now I come to the sticky part; the acquaintance was a resident in a retirement village with neighbours, and was a sufferer of Alzheimer’s/dementure. The ambulance crew delivered the acquaintance to the hospital safely, where treatment and ongoing treatment is taking place.
    The widow was beside herself with rage and indignation, which in no event was a person called to escort the acquaintance to the hospital, and her admission. The widow personally felt responsible and thought the system was lacking in compassion.
    I find the situation very difficult to pacify the widow and a suggestion of a ‘Befriender Society’ for any neighbourhood or environment where one lives with and amongst others in a town/village or conurbation.
    I tried to reason with the widow and asked questions of her such as the following:
    1 Who should be informed of the incident?
    2 Who is responsible for the prospective patient/acquaintance?
    3 Should family be the point of contact-Always-firstly- and is their responsibility to cascade/delegate the escort?
    4 Should professional carers always escort patients to hospital or is it sufficient to delegate this to the NHS system of Ambulance service and hospital admissions?
    5 Is there a legal problem or responsibility if one escorts a non close family member or acquaintance to hospital for admissions and ongoing treatment?
    6 How long does one stay at the hospital?
    7 Does one undertake repeat visits for comfort and solace of the patient?
    All questions such as this the widow was less clear, and in this instance the acquaintance was 80+ years and close family lived in continential Europe. I could not pacify the widow, and as to a ‘Befriending Society’ the widow could see the point but not the logic.
    I suspect she felt also that one day she maybe alone, fraught/scared and in unfamiliar surroundings.
    Does one have such a thing as a ‘befriending society’ or similar organisation, or does one trusts one’s family, or close neighbours and friends to deal with such issues?
    In the cold light of day the acquaintance going in an ambulance with just the ambulance crew, and no escort appears hard hearted and not at all compassionate: But I do ask what is one taking on, and one if asked to make important decisions at the point of treatment or admission, is this not really for a non family member or a passing acquaintance. A Friend maybe but that again depends on the depth of the friendship.
    It is a very difficult scenario and one a virtual village may wish to ponder.

  5. Here I am on my soap box once again. Looking at the subjects raised in articles under ‘Failure to adapt’, and ‘Care No Care’ Posted in late October/Early November 2014, and the ‘Final Swiss Tour’! I have my fundamental digit in my fundamental orifice, and a stupid smile on my Face,: However I have a real conundrum for the wise?
    Reading and discussing with neighbours and friends in a society of over 55’s (Not My family), The new ‘ Powers of Attorney for finance and health, and a ‘Competent MIND?’ Well I ask you can we all join hands ( Witnesses/benificieries/ and donors) and make a ‘Faustian Pact or TONTINE’ and the last one living gets all the benefits, or am I mistaken is this the local government and central government, who have all ready thought of this one? I wonder? and I feel raped and pillaged!!! Maybe in a moment of our lucidity, we can find a solution, Maybe a trip on Charabang to Switzerland and that ‘CLINIC’ and leave all our worldly goods to a Tontine called a ‘Swiss bank? I wonder?
    My thoughts for today, as you can see I am browned off!!!

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