Advisers fear that long-term care funding proposals may be put on the back burner after the Government once again refused to say when it will introduce the reforms.
At the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham this week, health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the Government will implement Dilnot’s proposals “as soon as we are able”, but he did not commit to a timeframe.
The Dilnot Commission’s report, published in July 2011, called for a cap on individuals’ lifetime contributions to social care costs of between £25,000 and £50,000, with £35,000 the recommended figure. People would become eligible for full state support when the cap is reached.
In July, prime minister David Cameron accepted the principle of a cap but questioned how the Government would pay the estimated £1.7bn annual price tag.
Last month, former care services minister Paul Burstow attacked the Treasury for having no “sense of urgency” over the reforms after his replacement, Norman Lamb, said he is in “no rush” to push ahead.
Symponia joint founder and director Janet Davies says: “We are fast coming to the time when this coalition will face an election and this will be put on the back burner. The Government needs to be bold and give us a date.”
Partnership director of corporate affairs Jim Boyd says: “There is a concern this will get kicked into the long grass because it is a very complex issue for politicians to address.
“At the heart of it is a politician must tell people, before an election, that they will have to pay for social care. No politician wants to be the one to do that.”