What is the Dilnot report?
Last July the Government set up an independent commission to recommend a fair and sustainable funding system for adult social care in England. The Commission on Funding of Care and Support under the chairmanship of Andrew Dilnot published its report yesterday - Fairer Care Funding.
What is the current situation on social care?
At present any individual with £23,250 or more in assets has to fund their own social care costs which are potentially unlimited. In extreme cases people may well have to sell their home to fund their social care costs.
What are the proposals made in the Dilnot report?
- Individual's lifetime contributions towards their social care costs should be capped. After the cap is reached individuals would be eligible for full state support. The figure of £35,000 was considered appropriate and fair for this cap.
- The means-tested asset threshold, above which people are liable for their full care costs, should be increased from the current £23,250 to £100,000.
- All those who enter adulthood with a care and support need should be eligible for free support immediately rather than be subject to a means test.
- Under the existing system some people are forced to pay for care unless they are deemed critical depending on where they live. There should be a minimum standard in England ending the current 'post-code lottery'.
Are there any problems with these recommendations?
Yes, the cost. The Commission estimates that its proposals would cost the State an extra £1.7 billion per year if implemented.
What happens next?
Well, the Treasury has already voiced concern over funding these proposals and the need to balance these against other funding priorities. However, the Government has stated it will consider the report carefully before putting forward its proposals next spring.