Social care proposals offer no peace of mind (The Guardian)

John Redwood's report, 'Care for the Elderly', published by the Centre for Policy Studies in August 2012, was mentioned in The Guardian on Tuesday 12th February 2013.

To view the full article, please visit The Guardian website

"Never trust a consensus in British politics. It ends in tears. That was the upshot of this week's announcement that the government would implement its version of the Dilnot report. Although widely welcomed when the economist Andrew Dilnot originally put forward proposals to pay for the burgeoning social care bill in the summer of 2011 and met with almost unanimous applause, the coalition's hollowed-out interpretation is likely to please almost no one and anger virtually everyone else.

Although the language used by the secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt, was emollient on Monday in the Commons – talking of a "new degree of certainty, fairness and peace of mind to the costs of old age" – the proposals will leave many anxious and confused. In fact, what is proposed is an offer to more people of some state help. More people will get some help because the upper threshold for means-tested state aid for elderly people will be raised from £23,250 to £123,000. But they will also be expected to contribute more – a sliding scale that looks as if elderly people could face bills of up to £420 a week. The state will help to some extent – a subsidy likely to average about £250 a week after five or six years of paying for residential care.

Now these figures are hugely generalised – every local authority pays different rates and individuals' needs are not the same – but it is true that the idea of a cap appears a mirage. When John Redwood, the former Tory minister, pointed this out last August, in a paper for the Centre for Policy Studies he was chided by the Department of Health and many experts. After the dust has settled it appears he was more right than wrong in his analysis."

To view the full article, please visit The Guardian website

You can find John Redwood's report, 'Care for the Elderly' here

Date added: Wednesday 13th February 2013

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