Long-awaited new government white paper finally set out 10-year vision - but there is still some way to go
Following the Prime Minister’s announcements about the social care cap, the government published its first white paper on Wednesday 1st December, outlining its vision for the future. But, was it worth the wait?
Announcements made in September included plans for a social care cap to be implemented from 2023 that would see no one in England pay more than £86,000 in care fees during their lifetime.
The subsequent white paper provided some detail as to how the social care cap would work, as well as a ten-year vision to provide greater choice for those receiving care. It also addresses concerns and uncertainty over costs, including:
- For the first time there will be a limit on the cost of care for everyone in the adult social care system
- £300m will be spent on supported housing
- £150m will be invested in new technologies, such as personal alarm systems and online rotas for staff
- £500m will be put towards improving training and qualifications for staff
- The new cap on care costs will cover fees for personal care, like help with washing and dressing. It will not cover living costs such as care home fees, food or utility bills.
From October 2023:
- Those with assets of less than £20,000 will not have to pay anything towards care fees - although they might have to pay from their income
- Those with more than £100,000 in assets - the value of their home, savings or investments - will not get any financial help from the council
- Those with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 will qualify for council help, but will have to pay £86,000 out of their own pocket to reach the cap
The problem is, these plans are likely to cause even more confusion to an already-complicated system. We’ve written a blog previously about some of the hidden costs for care which aren’t fully taken into account here.
From first looks, it is unlikely to save many people any money and does nothing to alleviate the immediate crisis facing social care. There may be a positive difference for a very limited number of people but certainly not poorer pensioners.
It’s time we stopped thinking of planning for the future as something we do in later life. The earlier each of us begins, the more options we allow ourselves when we eventually do need support.
When thinking about protecting your home when it comes to paying for the cost of care, there are a few things to consider. Each individual’s circumstances are very different, so it is worth contacting us at Downs Solicitors to see how we can help you.