New measures to limit the cost of social care to £75,000 do not deal with the reality of the care crisis, according to Dot Gibson, General Secretary of the National Pensioners Convention.
Ms Gibson was speaking shortly before Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, announced that from 2017, anyone with assets, including their home, worth more than £123,000 will have to pay for the first £75,000 of their care costs. They will also pay “bed and board” of up to £12,000 annually when in a nursing home.
The proposed cap on social care marks an improvement on the current system, which requires anyone with assets of more than £23,000 to pay the full cost.
However, an independent commission, led by the economist Andrew Dilnot and set up by the Coalition, recommended a £35,000 cap on care bills and a £10,000 annual limit on “bed and board” costs. It said state help should be available for those with less than £100,000 and that the system should be introduced now.
The National Pensioners Convention spokesperson attacked the proposals, remarking that they only served to benefit 10 per cent of pensioners who needed care. Despite the rise in the asset threshold, she also claimed many elder citizens were still scared they would have to sell their homes to meet costs.