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Pressure grows for alternatives to Dilnot

The Government is facing growing pressure to consider alternatives to Andrew Dilnot’s long-term care funding reforms as concerns mount over the cost, fairness and complexity of the proposals.

The Dilnot commission report, published in July, calls for a cap on individuals’ lifetime contributions to social care costs of between £25,000 and £50,000, with £35,000 the recommended figure. It also suggests increasing the means-testing threshold from £23,500 to £100,000.

Enhanced annuity specialist Partnership wants the Government to integrate a “partnership” system into Dilnot’s recommendations. This would see the £23,500 means-testing threshold increased to include any care insurance bought by an individual. For example, if someone bought £50,000 of care insurance, the threshold would increase to £73,250.

Chief executive Steve Groves says: “This solution is fair and rewards the squeezed middle for any contribution they make towards their own care. At the moment, the uncertainty surrounding what is actually covered within Dilnot’s cap means it is extremely unlikely that new insurance products will develop to meet the needs of people seeking to fund long-term care.”

Cass Business School Professor Les Mayhew wants the Government to introduce premium bond-style long-term care bonds to encourage people on low incomes to contribute towards future care costs.

He says: “I am deeply sceptical about the practicality of implementing the Dilnot recommendations. They do absolutely nothing for people on low incomes, so they would fall on the state under his proposals.

“I strongly disagree with the cap because it is a crude instrument to measure the ability of someone to pay for care.”

Last month, Money Marketing revealed senior Liberal Democrats are concerned about Dilnot’s proposals, saying they are bureaucratic and regressive.

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