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funding adult care - the next stage of the debate

4 July 2011

Today sees the publication of a report by the Dilnot Commission on funding adult social care. Expect radical thinking. According to Andrew Dilnot, the commission Chair, the current system does not work, and there is a need for fundamental change.

Key details have been leaked. For example, the current threshold of personal assets which qualifies an individual for state funding is recommended to rise from the current £23,250 to £100,000. This will go some way to address the current perverse disincentive to save for your future care. There will also be a recommendation that conditions for access to care are set nationally.

The new proposals will certainly be more expensive, and so attention will turn swiftly to politics. Does the Government have the will (some would say courage) to make these reforms which will probably require spending cuts elsewhere, and some tax increases? Will the calls from charities for cross-party talks, to prevent party-politicking, be heeded? Or does the long grass beckon? Let’s hope not.

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