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'Radical' social care plans set out

'Radical' social care plans set out

Jeremy Hunt today outlined the Government's "radical" plans to solve England's social care crisis.

The Government's proposal include a £75,000 cap on care costs and a big rise in the level of assets people can hold whilst still getting state support.

They were "radical plans to transform the funding of care and support in England", he told MPs.

The reforms - which take effect from April 2017 - would contribute towards people "reducing the risk of selling their home or reducing an inheritance they have worked hard to pass on to their family," he said.

Liberal Democrat Care Minister Norman Lamb hailed the reforms as "really significant reform" that would lead to a "much fairer system".

Mr Lamb criticised the current system, arguing: "There is this awful sense that if you’ve worked hard, budgeted carefully, get to old age and you suddenly face catastrophic loss because of dementia or some other condition, you’re almost penalised for having been careful through your working life and that’s grossly unfair."

Mr Hunt yesterday said the Government would end the "scandal" in which people are forced to sell their homes to fund care.

Andrew Dilnot, whose commission recommended the introduction of a cap set between £25,000 and £50,000, has welcomed the plan.

"It is higher than we would have wanted...and I regret that, but I recognise the public finances are in a pretty tricky state and it doesn’t seem to me that it’s so different from what we wanted," he told the Today programme.

But Age UK declared it was disappointed with the level of the cap. Director General Michelle Mitchell said:

"Age UK has always supported the principle of a cap because this protects against limitless care costs and is fairer for those who have saved, but we are disappointed that that the level of the cap looks likely to be much higher than the amount recommended by Andrew Dilnot: a lower cap would benefit more people and make it easier to plan ahead."

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11/02/2013