abdcare blog

WILL THE NEW YEAR BRING A SOLUTION TO THE FRIGHTENING COST OF ELDERLY CARE?

15.01.2018

We asked Andrew Douglas, Partner at Awdry Bailey & Douglas Solicitors who specialises in elderly care, for his views on this issue?

The status quo is frightening? This is true not only because understanding the system is complicated but because the costs are such that if a person needs a care home facility then bar £14,250, 100% of a persons assets including their house can be used to fund the cost. This position is much worse than Inheritance Tax where only 40% is taken by the government when your assets exceed current nil rate band thresholds. In fact the cost of long term care is so frightening that people may well escape having to pay inheritance tax if they get involved in the system of Long Term Care without having made appropriate preparations.

Do the Politicians help? Unfortunately, there appears to be clear vision and no joined up thinking. At the time of the last snap election the Tories policy was that people should fund their own costs save for their final £100,000, including their house. The Labour party proposed the creation of a National Care Service combined with £8bn being put into social care over the next 5 years whilst the Lib Dems wanted a 1p rise in come tax.

Is there a future road map for sorting the crisis in long term elderly care? The answer subject to Brexit not proving to be too time consuming and the subject of Long term Care reform proving to be too difficult is yes. This is because the Cabinet Office has announced that the government will publish a Green paper on the subject by summer 2018. That said the announcement was by Damien Green who has since resigned from office. Jeremy Hunt now heads up a new styled department for health and social care meaning that he may or may not be in charge of reform on a different basis namely joining up healthcare with social care. This uncertainty is before one mentions the lobby who simply want National Insurance to rise to fund the problem whilst forgetting that the shortfall in National State Pensions is fast becoming one of the nations biggest problems. So yes there is a road map but will it lead anywhere remains the big question!

What is best to do? Understand the existing rules under The Care Act 2014 and proceed accordingly. Waiting or doing nothing in relation to social care is not the best option. This approach only results in people not being organised and paying more.

The above is an overview only.

To know more and for a free appointment to find out answers to the questions that need answering email Andrew Douglas or his team on ajd@awdrys.co.uk or call us on 0800 072 8636.

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