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Steve Webb clashes with Govt on long-term care plans

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Former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb has warned the Conservatives’ plans to reform long-term care funding risk being held back by failures in the existing system.

The BBC reports the Conservatives want to extend deferred payment schemes to those receiving care in their own home until they are down to their last £100,000.

Deferred payment schemes allow individuals living in residential care to ask their local council to pay for their care and recoup the cost from the sale of their home.

Currently anyone with assets over £23,250 has to pay the cost of long-term care with the value of their home factored in. This is not the case for those receiving care at home.

But under the Conservative plans, the value of an individual’s home would be taken into account for those receiving care in their own home.

Webb, now Royal London director of policy, says Freedom of Information requests show there is a wide disparity between the way councils run deferred payment schemes.

Some councils had not agreed to any deferred payment schemes, while in other areas there were more than 100 agreements.

Webb says: “It is clear there is already a lottery as to whether people facing significant care costs can exercise their legal right to defer their payments under the existing system.

“The Government will need to investigate very quickly why the present system is not working properly, otherwise there is a danger of building a new system on very shaky foundations.”

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I don’t know what time period these Freedom of Information requests cover but if they are pre-April 2015 then, yes, there definitely was a postcode lottery with less cash-rich Authorities declining to offer such loans. Since April 2015, however, all Authorities have to have a scheme available to their citizens and so the postcode lottery aspect of this particular scheme should have been resolved.

    • Anthony Miles 29th May 2017 at 1:17 pm

      Hi Nicky

      I understand these requests were for period post April 2015. Despite access to a Deferred Payment Agreement being a legal right, ten local authorities told Royal London that they had not entered into a single arrangement since the scheme was introduced in April 2015. It seems London local authorities were particularly reluctant to use the scheme with eight London boroughs reporting zero agreements and a further twelve in single figures. I suspect the issue here is one of efforts being made to alert residents to their legal right to defer payments, rather than a post code lottery re availability.

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