Hunt Care Fee Proposals 2013 – A Con Job?
Having had the opportunity to watch Jeremy Hunts speech in the house, I am convinced that he sincerely considers his care fee funding proposals are a great deal better than they are. Shame he wasn’t better briefed, perhaps we would have had more genuine improvements and less PR pretence. REAL improvements are needed, not a PR job.
The new caps don’t come in until April 2017 – and they are relevant only to people above the (steadily rising) pension age. That is over 4 years away, so the Government are dumping £1,000,000,000 of extra costs on the next Government. I would tend to assume that means they are not expecting to be in power! But I could be wrong – the .care fee proposals are not all bad. It is just that they are pretending to be all things to all people, and they just are not
In fact, some of the “improvements” actually increase the costs. For example, Local Authorities currently give interest free loans secured on property, the “improvement” is to start charging interest!!!!
According to the Government, one in six people will spend more than £75,000 on care – presumably on top of the £20,800 or so you have to find every year for “hotel” costs.
According to the Express: National Pensioners Convention general secretary Dot Gibson said: “The social care system needs urgent and radical reform, but these proposals simply tinker at the edges… Setting a lifetime cap on care costs of £75,000 will help just 10% of those needing care, whilst the majority will be left to struggle on with a third-rate service.”
1) The proposals cover the cost of nursing care, not so called “hotel costs” which are the ordinary costs of building services, food, cooking, cleaning. So many people in “Rest” Homes may receive no benefit at all.
2) If you do benefit under the proposals, then Laing & Buisson figures show that the family would till have to pick up between two thirds and just over half of the bill – a little over £400 a week at 2012 prices. The variation is purely because the State would pick up a slightly higher proportion of costs where the nursing element is much higher.
So you need to find around just £20,800 a year ( 2012 prices) out of your own pocket (each if you are both in care). I suspect that may not come as a great relief to you!
3) But you can take out insurance?
Maybe you will be able to one day, but figures show that 75% of pensioners will need some sort of care. We estimate that the premiums will be about £100 a month if you start at the age of 40 with a good family history and no health issues. That is each, of course!
4) But it can come out of my pension fund?
A great idea, if it were not for the fact that there is already a pensions crisis in the UK. I am surprised Jeremy Hunt is not aware of this. So this suggestion will benefit only the very, very few people whose pensions are over funded. They are of course, this Governments favourite people, the rich. For ordinary people , there is not a snowballs chance in hell of this being any help.
So far, we are deeply unimpressed by what we have heard from Jeremy Hunt: we understand the problem, but it needs a real solution not a PR sticking plaster.