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Deputy Minister initiates debate on the future of paying for care in Wales
Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas has launched the Green Paper on ‘Paying for Care in Wales’
The Green Paper sets out proposals for reforming the current system of paying for care and support for disabled and older people who need it.
At the launch Gwenda Thomas said:
"It is widely acknowledged that the current system of paying for care is complicated, unfair, and unsustainable in the long term. That is why, last year, I initiated a national debate in Wales about how we should pay for care and support in the future. That consultation asked important questions of principle. This Green Paper takes that debate a stage further, and sets out specific options for reform.
"The main options for reform were set out by the UK Government in the summer. In drawing up our own Green Paper we have considered these options in the light of our earlier consultation and in the context of the distinctive approach we have taken to social services in Wales."
The paying for care options favoured by the UK Government are based on the principle that the new way to pay for care should be a partnership between the individual and government. Everyone who qualifies for care and support would have a proportion of their costs paid for by the government, but would have to fund the rest themselves.
There are various ways in which individuals could prepare to meet their contributions. For example, they could take out insurance in case they needed care in the future. Alternatively, individuals over retirement age could be required to make a one-off payment before or after retirement or upon death.
Mrs Thomas added:
"This is a vitally important issue for all of us in Wales and it is essential that we get as wide a debate as possible going on in our homes and communities. I would encourage everybody to read and respond to this Green Paper, so that our discussions with the UK Government are as informed as possible."
A 15 week consultation period starts today, during which Welsh stakeholders and the general public will be encouraged to give their views on the various options for reform.