Baroness Sally Greengross has vowed to lodge an amendment to the Government’s Care bill that will force local authorities to refer people to regulated financial advisers for long-term care advice.
The bill, published last week, sets out a requirement for local authorities to signpost people to “independent financial advice”.
A department of health spokesman says the bill uses the term “independent” to mean financial advice that is independent of the local authority, with no requirement for local authorities to refer people to regulated financial advisers.
The position is contrary to the joint scrutiny committee on the draft care and support bill report, published in March, which explicitly called for local authorities to signpost people to Financial Conduct Authority-regulated advisers.
International Longevity Centre chief executive Baroness Sally Greengross, who sat on the scrutiny committee, says she plans to lodge an amendment to the bill to force councils to refer to regulated advisers.
She says: “People must get the right advice or it will be a disaster. Regulated financial advice is crucial as we are talking about someone’s house at stake. It could go very wrong so I will work on an amendment.”
Conservative MP and member of the scrutiny committee Harriett Baldwin says: “Our committee was unanimous that anyone giving long-term care financial advice should be professionally qualified and recognised by a regulator.”
Society of Later Life Advisers president Lord David Lipsey says: “The gold standard is regulated financial advice and I’m sure ministers will be pressed to give assurances.”
The bill, published last week, confirms Government plans to cap care costs at £72,000 from April 2016.