English councils want a national deferred payment scheme to help people pay for their social care costs in old age.
The Local government Association have said that the government could set up a company to lend money which would be paid back from a person’s estate once they pass on.
A scheme like this is already run by numerous local authorities and the government is said to be keen to create a nationwide system. However the LGA says that the government should underwrite it, rather than councils.
The government says that it has been consulting a range of its reforms, including deferred payments and will publish its response in the New Year, reports the BBC.
The LGA says that the government should underwrite a national scheme as the councils do not have the money due to budget cuts. LGA chairman Sir Merrick Cockell said: “Deferred payment schemes can offer peace of mind to people worried about how they are going to pay for care in old age. This is an option which councils would like to be able to offer to as many people as possible but we have limited funds that restrict us from doing so. We suggest that government considers an option for a separate national organisation, similar to the Student Loans Company, to run the deferred payment scheme on behalf of councils.This needs to be part of a huge overhaul of the system that brings care up to a standard fit for the 21st Century and ensures that our increasingly ageing population can lead happy, healthy independent lives long into their old age.”
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and the Social Local Authority Chief Executives are backing the LGA’s proposal.
ADASS president Sandie Keene added: “Funding is of paramount importance in ensuring that older people’s wellbeing, safety and security lie at the heart of a modern, integrated and effective social care system.
“The proposals we have put forward alongside colleague associations will help towards that end.”
Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said: “We do not want people to have to sell their homes in their lifetime to pay for care, as is often the case in the current system. We have always been clear that a deferred payment scheme must be sustainable in the long term and we have committed to giving councils £335million in 2015/16 to help fund our changes.This is one of a range of proposals we think will make the system fairer – protecting people from unlimited care costs and helping them to pay for care. Our proposals have been part of an open consultation with the public and we will consider all the responses, including this one, carefully.”
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