AS BRITONS get older and iller, somebody has to pay more to look after them. Yet recent cuts in local-authority spending on social care have turned this into a huge problem for the National Health Service. Inadequate social care has led to bed-blocking in hospitals by elderly patients. Theresa May’s Tory manifesto commendably seeks to tackle this problem. But in doing so it will create winners and, more awkwardly, losers.
Under today’s policy in England the state pays the social-care costs only of old people with assets of less than £23,250 ($30,000). For those in a care home, the £23,250 limit includes the value of their house; for those being looked after at home, it does not. The Tories plan to raise the asset ceiling to £100,000, paid for in part by means-testing the winter-fuel payment, a quaintly named welfare benefit for elderly folk. But the ceiling will now include the value of the home, no matter where care is provided. The manifesto promises not to force people to sell…Continue reading