If social care is to become free at the point of delivery, with a definite cap on the burden to be carried by individual families, the Government’s Green Paper planned for Autumn 2018 has to solve a funding gap of £2.5 billion in the coming financial year and introduce funding reforms (nationally and locally) to raise the extra revenue. No mean feat, as new taxes are seldom welcomed by the individuals actually footing the bill.
Proposals from the joint Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee and Health and Social Care Committee report on sustainable funding solutions for adult social care, involve creation of a new “Social Care Premium”, to be funded:
“ …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”.
Triggle, N. (2018). Tax over-40s for old age care, say MPs. London: BBC Health News, June 27th 2018.
The report is based upon six principles for social care policy and funding:
- Provision of high quality care (ideally free to all at the point of delivery, like NHS healthcare).
- Due consideration of working age adults as well as older people.
- Inter-generational fairness and greater social equality on who pays for social care and how.
- An aspiration to move towards universal access to personal care free at the point of delivery
- Risk pooling / social insurance, to protect people from catastrophic costs, thereby protecting the greater portion of families’ savings and assets.
- Earmarking (ring-fencing) contributions to maintain public support.
This relates to:
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee [and] Health and Social Care Committee (2018). Long-term funding of adult social care. First Joint Report of the Health and Social Care and Housing, Communities and Local Government Committees of Session 2017–19. Ninth Report of the Health and Social Care Committee Seventh Report of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee. Report, together with formal minutes relating to the report. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 19 June 2018. London: House of Commons Health and Social Care [and] Housing, Communities and Local Government Committees, June 27th 2018. HC 768.
There is also an Executive Summary.
Also of likely interest, there has been public consultation:
Citizens’ Assembly on social care: recommendations for funding adult social care. London: Involve [and] House of Commons, June 2018.
LGA’s Adult Social Care Green Paper
A green paper from the Local Government Association (LGA) addresses how adult social care system might be improved and funded sustainably:
The lives we want to lead: the LGA green paper for adult social care and wellbeing. London: Local Government Association, July 2018.