Later Life  

Calls for one-off payment to fund social care

Calls for one-off payment to fund social care

People should be asked to contribute a one-off payment of £30,000 to fund their later life care, Parliament has heard.

During a hearing on social care funding in Parliament on Tuesday (23 October) Kathryn Petrie, senior economist at the Social Market Foundation, said a one off payment for 65-year-olds should be introduced in order to pay for later life social care.

She said: "We would say that it isn't fair to increase income tax to pay for the social care system. 

"The government should raise funds for elderly social care differently as those who need care in their 70s and onward have had time to save assets.

"A one off payment of around £30,000 should be made by people aged 65 in order to fund their social care through their lifetime and the threshold should be means tested.

"It would be reasonable for people to start saving so that they can make this payment around 15 years prior to the age of 65."

But Harry Quilter-Pinner, research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, said the government should put in place means testing for social care in later life and people should receive care for free if they meet certain requirements.

He said: "Economically it would make sense to make social care free, just like health care is free with the NHS.

"People should make contributions to the housing that they receive as part of their care, and that should be means tested. The government should separate the conversation about social care and wealth taxation as they are both too difficult to solve.

"The only progressive option is to introduce means testing for social care, rather than figure out how to impose a wealth tax to fund it. The idea behind this is that everyone would receive care for free after having their needs tested."

The comments come after secretary of state for social care Matt Hancock said that individuals would be expected to contribute to the social care system but that the state could not rely solely on taxpayers to fund the costs of social care.

Earlier this year, the government said that its green paper on long-term reform of the care funding system was due to be published this autumn but could be delayed due to "unforeseen circumstances".

A proposed £72,500 cap on social care had been scrapped in December.

rosie.quigley@ft.com