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Queen’s Speech: Govt to consult on 2% precept for social care

Queen’s Speech: Govt to consult on 2% precept for social care

The government will introduce changes to social care to "ensure dignity in old age", it confirmed in today's Queen’s Speech.

Last week (October 10), health secretary Matt Hancock suggested the heavily delayed social care green paper may be scrapped in favour of legislation as the government focused on finding a solution to the problem rather than to discuss it further.

In the speech delivered this morning (14 October), the government said it will "bring forward proposals to reform adult social care in England to ensure dignity in old age".

The supporting documents showed the government will "consult on a 2 per cent precept that will enable councils
to access a further £500m for adult social care".

The government has allowed councils which provide social care to adults to increase their share of council tax. This additional council tax charge is called the adult social care precept. It means that adult social care gets more of the council tax share.

This comes after the recent spending round, which announced that councils will be provided with access to an additional £1bn for adult and children’s social care in 2020.

The new funding will support local authorities to meet rising demand and will continue to stabilise the social care system, according to the government.

It is yet uncertain whether the bill will make it into law as the government currently has no working majority in the house of commons.

What's more, Mr Hancock had previously spoken of a lack of cross party consensus on social care as he said the government has not yet been able to find a way to get the "sort of cross party support that is hugely helpful for projects like this".

The original rationale for a green paper was to explore the issue of how social care is funded by individuals.

A number of policy ideas were reportedly under consideration for inclusion in the paper including: a more generous means-test; a cap on lifetime social care charges; an insurance and contribution model; a Care ISA; and tax-free withdrawals from pension pots.

amy.austin@ft.com

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