Govt eyes ‘death tax’ in Budget to fund long-term care

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The Government is considering changes to social care funding, including a “death tax” and a potential cap on the cost of long-term care, as part of a Budget announcement around funding for social care.

According to a Financial Times report, a committee of social care experts, reporting to Prime Minister Theresa May, has been looking at a range of options for funding elderly care in past months.

Chancellor Philip Hammond is also expected to announce hundreds of millions of pounds in emergency funding for social care in the Spring Budget on 8 March.

The FT reports that the idea of a “death tax” has been considered. Such a tax was previously proposed during former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Government when it was suggested a 10 per cent tax could be applied to all estates as well as inheritance tax.

A cap on the cost of long-term care was also re-examined by the committee after it was shelved two years ago.

In July 2015, the Department of Health delayed plans to implement a £72,000 cap on the cost of long-term care. The cap was expected to come into force from April 2016, but was delayed until 2020.

Other proposals put before the committee include compulsory social insurance, and reforms suggested by Sir Derek Wanless when he reviewed the social care system in 2006.