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Funding reform fear in social care paper

Partnership says it is concerned that the Government’s decision to publish its white paper on social care without including funding considerations will see the reforms sidelined.

In July, the Dilnot commission outlined proposals to cap individuals’ lifetime contribution to their social care costs at between £25,000 and £50,000, with £35,000 the recommended figure. The report also urges policymakers to increase the means-tested threshold from £23,250 to £100,000.

Ministers are considering the reforms and will publish a white paper in 2012. However, recommendations on funding will be outlined in a “progress report” rather than in the white paper itself.

Partnership director of corporate communications Jim Boyd says: “I can understand why civil servants would want to have two work streams for something as politically controversial as this but it is a cause for concern that we could have a social care white paper which does not contain any credible funding options.

“If this happens, my concern is that we will have to wait another 10 years for the Government to address this significant area of public concern.”

Speaking to Money Marketing last month, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley refused to deny rumours that the Government may sideline Dilnot’s reform recommendations.

He said: “It would be premature to comment while we are in the middle of engaging with the financial services industry about the reforms. When we publish the white paper and the progress report, we will say what we are going to do.”

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