Responding to the government’s proposed amendment to its planned social care charging reform, announced yesterday (17 November 2021), Charles Tallack, Assistant Director of the REAL Centre at the Health Foundation, said:

‘While we support the government’s ambitions to reform social care and protect people from catastrophic care costs, these last-minute changes seem poorly conceived and are a step in the wrong direction.

‘The Government’s proposed amendments to the Care Act mean that these reforms will no longer protect those with lower assets from catastrophic costs. The change would mean that those with wealth of less than £106k would be exposed to maximum care costs of almost twice the amount as under the Care Act. The Dilnot Commission considered this approach in 2011 and rejected it as unfair. The changes seem motivated by a desire to save money – but to do so by taking protection away from poorer homeowners.

‘The reforms were driven by a promise to protect people from catastrophic costs. It appears that for the poorest people this now won’t be the case.’

Notes to editors

The chart shows people’s maximum exposure to care costs for the current system, the Care Act and the Government’s proposed approach – both of the latter with a cap of £86k, and lower and upper capital limits of £20k and £100k. Under the current system people can lose all but £14,250 of their assets. For someone with £100k this represents 86% of their wealth. Under the Care Act, this would be reduced to 43%.  But under the Government’s proposals the maximum loss would be £80k – 80% of their assets. The proposals offer little protection against catastrophic costs for those with lower levels of wealth. 

Wealthier people are not affected by the changes and are still protected against catastrophic costs. Under the current system someone with wealth of £200k can lose 93% of their wealth. Under the Care Act system and the Government’s proposals this is reduced to 43% (£86k of £200k).

Media contact

Simon Perry
Simon.Perry@health.org.uk
020 7257 2093

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