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Jeremy Hunt Announces Social Care Cost Cap, Will See State Cover Costs Over £75,000 For Elderly

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ELDERLY CARE
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A cap on social care costs for the elderly is to be announced by ministers on Monday amid expectations that it will be much higher than the £35,000 figure mooted by an independent review.

There have been widespread reports that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has settled on £75,000 as the amount of money people will be expected to pay for care before the state steps in.

There have also been suggestions that it could be lower, at about £60,000 but uprated with inflation. The Department of Health said the reports were "speculation".

Campaigners have warned that £75,000 would be too high and would mean many people would still have to sell their homes to pay for care.

jeremy hunt

Jeremy Hunt's proposed cap has been warned to be too high

The Dilnot Commission recommended a cap of between £35,000 and £50,000, although Chancellor George Osborne is thought to have dismissed the possibility of that range on cost grounds.

The cap could come in as early as 2017.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Hunt said: "The debate has been focussed a lot on the level of the cap, but just having a cap means that pension companies and insurance companies will be able to offer products.

"That means we become probably one of the first countries in the world where people save for their social care just as they save for their pension. In many cases, it will just be an addition to your pension policy."

The Alzheimer's Society said a £75,000 cap would only help "the few".

"Today's reports may mean an important step forward in making the system of charging for care fairer but the devil will be in the detail," it said.

"Raising the means test threshold could take thousands out of the firing line for huge costs.

"Capping care costs for the first time is a step in the right direction, but a £75,000 cap is so high that it would only help the few.

"The 800,000 people with dementia in the UK are amongst the hardest hit by a system that charges massive amounts for essential care.

"As well as taking action on this Dementia Tax it is vital that Government also looks at the huge underfunding of the system.

"We need them to plug the gap in social care funding in order to secure the care system for the future."

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