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Demos: 120,000 pensioners a year to miss out on social care relief if Government ditches Dilnot cap proposal

Demos analysis reveals an extra 120,000 elderly people a year will receive no relief on their social care costs if the government foregoes recommendations of the Dilnot Review and instead adopts a cap of £75k.

Figures from Andrew Dilnot’s government-commissioned review into the future funding of social care show that 37% of people aged over 65 would have their social care bills reduced by a recommended £35k cap on individual care costs.

However, the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is set to announce the Government will introduce a £75k cap, which would only help 16% of the over-65 population, a difference of 117,096 pensioners every year based on 2011 census figures.

It was recently revealed that Chancellor George Osborne baulked at the cost of a lower cap, instead agreeing to stump up £700m for a £75,000 cap in a deal between the Department of Health and the Treasury. Meanwhile, the Coalition’s mid-term relaunch only went so far as saying it “supports the principles” of the Dilnot Review.

Currently the means-tested threshold where people are required to fund the full costs of their care is £23,250, which the Government are expected to raise to £123,000.

Additional analysis shows couples could find themselves further penalised as a cap would be applied to both members as opposed to individually, potentially leading to total care costs of £150,000 – almost the equivalent cost of an average UK home.

Claudia Wood, Deputy Director of Demos, said:

“For the Coalition to consider putting the cap at £75k is unambitious, miserly, and will do little to solve one of the most vital social problems facing our generation.”

“A cap of £75k means that the majority of people will still be paying just as much on their social care as they would have before the cap.”

“If the Government are intent on such a high cap, then they ought to consider applying the cap to couples - the current care cap plans treat couples as two separate individuals who each have to spend up to £75k on their care, which can be deeply unfair. It ignores the fact that in couples there is often one main earner, and their assets are not simply double that of an individual."

Notes to editors

Figures obtained from ‘Fairer Care Funding: The Report of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support’ available to download here:

For more information, or for further comment from Claudia Wood, please contact:

Rob Macpherson
Communications Officer


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