Later Life  

Savers have little faith in social care reform

Savers have little faith in social care reform

The over-45s are sceptical that the three main political parties will act to reform adult social care, provider Just has found.

Confidence in politicians’ ability to sort out funding issues with social care is low with savers believing the Conservatives, Labour or Liberal Democrats will not put in place relevant policies within two years of forming a government. 

Research for Just Group’s care report 2019 (published on June 11), found of 1,001 individuals it questioned 54 per cent thought it unlikely that Labour or the Conservatives would act to reform social care funding and 56 per cent had little faith the Liberal Democrats would. 

However, 20 per cent thought it was likely that Labour would set out a policy within two years of forming a government, while 17 per cent thought the Conservatives would and 14 per cent had faith the Liberal Democrats would. 

This comes despite social care funding being on the government's agenda for a number of years.

The publication of a green paper on reforming social care funding was originally expected last summer but has faced several delays, with the government now saying it will be published "in due course".

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, said: "Reform of the adult social care system has been touched on in the Conservative leadership election but needs to be pushed up the priority order for whichever party next gets into government. 

"As we await a much-delayed green paper setting out the Conservative’s plans for reform, there is a feeling that politicians are willing to talk about the issue but the public remains sceptical that politicians will actually grasp the nettle and take much-needed action."

Just Group’s care report also found growing consumer inertia, as the number of savers who said they were not interested in the debate about who should pay for care has nearly tripled in the past year, to 17 per cent. 

The number of those who were interested in the debate has dropped from about two-thirds to 55 per cent in this year’s research.

The vast majority (88 per cent) admitted they had not thought about care, planned it or spoken to other family members about the issue. This figure dropped to 68 per cent among the over-75s.

Mr Lowe said: "People are clearly concerned by the problem but without a clear policy lead, many don’t have a clue where to start planning for care. 

"There’s a role and opportunity for financial advisers to help their clients with this tricky issue – whether it’s planning for a client’s own care or helping clients plan care for their parents."

amy.austin@ft.com

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