Cross-party peers are planning to table further amendments to the Care bill calling for regulated advice referrals for long-term care funders after the Government rejected initial amendments.
The Care bill says councils must signpost funders to “independent financial advice”, which could mean IFAs or charities as there is no requirement that the advice is regulated.
International Longevity Centre chief executive Baroness Sally Greengross and Society of Later Life Advisers president Lord David Lipsey tabled amendments to ensure long-term care funders were referred to regulated advisers.
Last week, health minister Earl Howe rejected the amendments by claiming regulated advice is not always necessary and could see people charged a fee.
Speaking to Money Marketing, Baroness Greengross says: “I will be doing something more. We are talking about really vulnerable people and they need financial advice so we will come back to it at report stage.
“The financial services industry needs to get its act together because I am worried the reforms will start before it is all worked out. With all these changes we want to make sure there is as much quality advice as possible.”
Lord Lipsey says: “These are early days. The Government is showing a commendable willingness to listen, and we will have to hope this translates into the hard currency of real change in the bill.”
The bill will soon move to report stage in the House of Lords, then will pass through the House of Commons later this year before becoming law. Campaigners have been left disappointed by the Government’s initial response on advice and called for more radical action.
Symponia joint founder and managing director Janet Davies says: “The Government’s response is very disappointing but not surprising. It leaves financial services professionals pondering the question; what is the point of a signpost if it sends people in completely the wrong direction?”