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.”