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‘Step forward’ with care costs cap but action needed on service cuts

11 February 2013

Carers UK responds to Government announcement on cap on the costs of care

Today the Government announced that from 2017 there will be a limit of £75,000 on the amount of money that people will pay for the cost of their care and that Government will step in earlier to help with the cost of care, allowing families to keep more of their assets.

At the moment, families do not receive any help in paying for the cost of care until they have less than £23,500 in assets. From 2017 this means tested threshold will rise to £123,000 for residential care.

Responding to the Government’s announcement on long-term care funding, Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy at Carers UK said: ‘Our work has shown that 3 in 4 families fear the cost of caring for older or disabled loved ones, and this new cap on the costs of care and the changes to the financial thresholds for state help are significant first steps forward towards a care system that shares costs more fairly between families and the state. However, a £75,000 cap on care costs is higher than the proposals of the Dilnot Commission and Government must set out a timetable for making care more affordable for families.

The social care system has suffered from decades of underinvestment and the funding gap for care is growing - resulting in cuts to services and rising charges for care. Increasingly families are having to fill this gap, providing more and more care, often at huge personal and financial costs to themselves. These new proposals don’t yet answer all these questions. Alongside this progress on the costs of care for families, we need urgent action to address the chronic underfunding of the care system ensuring families are able to access affordable, flexible and high quality care.’

For full details of the Government plans visit www.dh.gov.uk/health/2013/02/funding-socialcare

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