How to fund care and support for the elderly

The Institute of Fiscal Studies has published a detailed paper on how the proposals of the Dilnot Commission on care and support for the elderly can be funded:

The Dilnot Commission proposed changes which would involve a degree of co-payment between individuals and the state, and a much less harsh meanstest on assets than in the current system. The proposals would cost money – £1.7 billion a year in the short term.

The main beneficiaries of these changes would be pensioners with higher levels of income or significant assets. Dilnot therefore suggested that any tax rises or benefit cuts designed to pay for the proposals should be focussed on this group of better off pensioners.

In a new report funded by the Nuffield Foundation, IFS researchers look at how pensioner incomes have evolved in recent years, how the tax and benefit system provides additional support for pensioners and
how it could be reformed to raise additional revenue from this group. Any such changes would of course be painful, and may not be the best way to fund the Dilnot proposals; but money could be found whilst also making the tax and benefit system more coherent in the way it affects pensioners.

The full paper can be read here and there is an accompanying press release from the IFS here.

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  • “…the government will sign up to the funding cap principle when it publishes its White Paper on Wednesday, but ministers will not make any pledges on specific figures because there is no agreement yet on how to pay for it.” –

    Time for some political courage, backed up by all the social care charities calling for this.

    The IFS give many sensible options but my first preference would be to scrap the tax-free lump sum which is really, really regressive and goes against the whole point of pensions. Use the money to fund these reforms. Job done.

    That said, I’m sure Labour will be quick to demand that this is funded but oppose any specific means of funding. Is there any issue that’s too important for stupid party politics and media hysteria?

  • DAVE WARREN 9th Jul '12 - 10:00pm

    They just aren’t getting to grips with this issue at all.

    If you have care whether you pay for it or not it is almost always provided by private companies and is of poor quality.

    These companies are making big profits out of a ‘market’ where they can’t lose.

    The people who lose are the ones in need of care and the workers who are employed by these firms.

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