Newcastle City Council has set up its own commission into long-term care funding with leader Nick Forbes branding Government proposals expected to be announced today as a “fudge”.
Later today, the Government will publish its social care bill and white paper which will propose forcing councils to offer low cost loans to help fund long-term care costs for people who cannot afford to do so without selling their home. The money would be recouped when the house is sold or remortgaged after death.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley says it will also support the Dilnot Commission’s proposal for a cap on the cost of care “in principle”, but the decision on how to fund the expected £1.7bn costs is likely to be delayed until at least 2014.
Writing in the Guardian, Forbes says councils will still be left with the problem of “doing more with less”.
He says: “That is why we have set up our own commission on adult social care. A gathering of some of the brightest minds who can help us come up with some new solutions. This is not a talking shop. I want recommendations to council within a few months and I expect many of their ideas to become the norm in our city.
“Politicians in Westminster have chosen to do nothing. Today’s white paper on adult social care is predictably a fudge that rejects Andrew Dilnot’s arguments for public spending increases in order to guarantee that we look after the most vulnerable.
“We have effectively been told that we are on our own and will have to struggle with the unchanged mechanics of a system that is unfair, outdated and failing our most vulnerable people.”