Election 2017  

Fears social care reforms face future in the long grass

"But until the government is clear what level of support it will provide with social care costs, it will be impossible for the insurance industry to come up products which build on state support.

"In the circumstances, the best thing to do would be to implement the Dilnot reforms which are already on the statute book so that there is at least some cap on costs, and so that top-up insurance products can be developed."

Malcolm McLean, senior consultant at Barnett Waddingham, suspects for the moment social care will go into the "too difficult box".

“Setting aside the political ramifications, I would like to see the original Dilnot proposals combined with those put forward by the Tories in the campaign. That would mean both a floor and a cap on the costs of long term care brought in from 2020.”

However, Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon said: “Kicking social care funding into the long grass would be irresponsible. A simplified version of Dilnot proposals might form starting point for cross-party consensus.

“Social care funding turned out to be one of thorniest issues of the election campaign with opposing views on how to solve this growing crisis resulting from an ageing society. Politicians may now be even less keen to wade into this emotive and for many unpalatable topic, but it would be irresponsible to kick it into the long grass.

"Neither the Conservatives not Labour are suggesting individuals won’t have to make a contribution and ideally we’d arrive at a cross-party agreement.

“Social care funding needs to remain a priority and people deserve certainty and stability. A cap on maximum contributions is essential to allow people to plan ahead while also protecting their inheritance aspirations.

"The overall solution needs to strike a fair deal between individual and state contributions, be stable over time without constant tinkering and be easy to understand without hidden costs. People deserve certainty and stability to be able to plan ahead for this eventuality with confidence.

“Labour’s Manifesto talked of aiming for cross-party consensus while exploring a range of government led options including a wealth tax, an employer care contribution and a new social care levy.

"It also committed to short term funding increases to allow a limit on personal contributions, something the Conservatives also ultimately committed to, so there may be more common ground than it looked.

“The Dilnot proposals might act as a starting point, but we need to find a way of simplifying them. One option would be to express the cap in terms of the maximum weeks for which the individual will be required to pay.”