Long term funding of adult social care - joint report published
The Housing, Communities and Local Government and Health and Social Care Committees' first joint report on the long term funding of adult social care has now been published.
The report calls for a sustainable funding solution for adult social care.
It calls for the introduction of a ‘Social Care Premium’, either as an additional element of National Insurance or with the premium paid into dedicated not-for-profit social insurance fund that people would be confident could only be used for social care.
To ensure fairness between the generations, the premium should only be paid by those aged over 40 and extended to those over the age of 65, with the money being held in an independent, dedicated and audited fund to help gain public trust and acceptance for the measure.
Individuals and employers should pay a new contribution into a dedicated fund set aside to help pay for the growing demand for adult social care and implement funding reforms, with the current system ‘not fit to respond to the demographic trends of the future’, say report into Long term funding of adult social care report.
The report by the cross-party Committees describes the social care system as "under very great and unsustainable strain". Ahead of the Government’s Green Paper, which is now expected in the autumn, it highlights the urgent need to plug a funding gap estimated at up to £2.5 billion in the next financial year, before introducing wider funding reforms at both a local and national level to raise extra revenue with a long-term aspiration of providing social care free at the point of delivery.
Personal care for all
The Committees say that the personal element of social care, such as help with washing, dressing and eating, should eventually be delivered free to everyone who needs it, although accommodation costs should continue to be paid on a means-tested basis. Recognising that this reform is unlikely to be affordable immediately, the Committees recommended that it should begin by extending free personal care to people deemed to have 'critical' needs.
Extra funds will also need to be raised to extend the care to those with moderate needs as well as those with substantial and critical needs and to provide sufficient resources to ensure the stability of the workforce and financial viability of care providers.
To download the report click HERE.