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Support for cap on care costs at all-time high, research finds

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A cap on care costs is the favoured option among Brits for funding long-term care, new research has found.

The latest report from care finance specialist Just Group shows that more than half (58%) of over 45s support the idea, which would limit the amount an individual has to pay for care before the State steps in.

Just Group started asking the question in 2014 and although support initially dipped, it has now risen to its highest ever level, with even stronger support among over 75s as nearly two-thirds (65%) of this group support the idea of a cap.

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Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, believes the figures demonstrate a “growing realism” about the cost of care among the public who firmly place responsibility for setting a clear policy at the government’s door.

“Funding social care has been a perennial problem that’s dogged governments for decades now. Despite all the talk about solving the care crisis and delivering a sustainable policy the public has seen precious little progress in the last 20 years. This government doesn’t appear to be breaking the mould as yet another delay was quietly slipped out in the House of Lords last week.

“While the coronavirus pandemic has been the focus of attention for the prime minister and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, they cannot kick the can down the road for much longer.”

It was reported in May that government ministers were considering a cap on social care costs in England prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

The idea was raised during talks with Sir Andrew Dilnot, who was asked to lead a cross-party commission on Funding for Care and Support in 2010, in January and February.

A specific social care tax was among options discussed to cover the costs of social care, a senior figure involved in the talks said, and there has been a 90% agreement on revisiting Sir Andrew’s model.

The Dilnot commission recommended a partnership model with a much more generous means test and a lifetime ‘cap’ of between £25,000 and £50,000 on social care costs to ensure the state steps in where people face catastrophic costs that cannot be planned for.

Lowe added: “The public recognises they will have to make some contribution to the cost of care but they also want some certainty on how much that will be – and, quite rightly, are looking to the government to make that clear.”

But there’s little public confidence, Lowe said, even among Conservative voters, that the prime minister will fulfil his pledge to fix social care policy in this parliament.

Less than half (43%) of people who voted Conservative in the last General Election are confident the prime minister will produce a social care policy before the end of this Parliament and just a third (35%) think he can put that social care policy into practice.

Unsurprisingly, trust among voters for other political parties is at rock bottom – just 3% of Labour and Liberal Democrat voters are confident in Mr Johnson’s ability to produce a policy, and 2% among both parties’ voter base believe he will implement it this Parliament.

Tags : cap on care costsJust Group
Sarah Clarke

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