Today’s Budget has seen the expected announcement of the cap on social care costs, originally planned to be set at £75,000 and introduced in 2017, now being introduced in 2016 at a level of £72,000. In the words of Mr Osborne, the cap would protect people from "getting a disease in later life and having to sell their house" to pay bills.
Adam Lenton, Head of Healthcare at Colliers Intentional said: “It is certainly welcomed that the Government is addressing the issue in such difficult economic times, but this cap is still almost double the recommendations of £35,000 set out in the Dilnot Report even when you equate the £72,000 to today’s prices. As with many Government policies it is important to also look at the detail behind the headlines.”
Current figures suggest that less than a fifth of people are currently facing costs in excess of £75,000 and therefore the majority of people will still have to pay all of their bill. Furthermore, developing a need for care does not necessarily mean you will fall within the system. Only those with needs classed as ‘severe’ or ‘substantial’ will be entitled to help. Any spending before you reach that level of care need will not count towards the £75,000 cap.
Lenton continued: “For those that do fall within the criteria and in particular where care needs and subsequent costs of care are particularly high, the limiting of costs is very welcome. But I suspect the cap itself and the detail behind it will still leave many of the elderly and their families frustrated and disillusioned at having to fund the costs of care themselves or by the sale of their home, albeit this can now be deferred and sold out of the estate.”