Government edges towards announcement on help with long-term care costs


7 January 2013 

Many in the social care sector had hoped that David Cameron and Nick Clegg would announce the long-awaited cap on long-term care costs in today’s coalition mid-term review, published today but no specifics have been released so far.

Under the heading ‘NHS and Social Care’ in the review, the government’s support for the principles of the Dilnot Commission are re-iterated but that’s as far as they have gone today. In the foreword they do say, “We will set out two big reforms to provide dignity in old age: an improved state pension that rewards saving, and more help with the costs of long-term care.” The detail is to be announced “in due course”.

Last August it was said that the coalition would implement the Dilnot commission’s recommendation that the amount paid by individuals for their care would be capped at £35,000, so that fewer elderly people will have to sell their homes to pay for care.

By last week the press speculation was that the cap would be set at £75,000 which is well above the limit suggested by Dilnot. In their report the commission said that a cap outside this range would “not meet our criteria of fairness or sustainability”.

On the basis that we have been waiting for the cap to be announced since the Dilnot commission published their findings in July 2011, we can only hope that the coalition makes the announcement soon, although it looks as though it’s not going to be the figure families up and down the country were hoping for.