UK’s long-awaited social care reforms delayed yet again

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Australia is not the only country facing challenges in how to fund care for its older population.

It has been talked about for a decade in the UK and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to be the latest UK leader to delay announcing how to overhaul the funding of social care.

Many people in the UK are left with no option but to sell their home and are then forced to use their savings as anyone with more than £23,250 (AUD $42,000) in assets or savings is forced to pay for all their care. 

Mr Johnson pledged a year ago to “fix the crisis in social care, once and for all” but it is widely reported that the UK government is at loggerheads on what to do, with the preferred option “disproportionately” benefitting the wealthy, it has been claimed.

In 2011 Sir Andrew Dilnot, a social care expert, recommended capping lifetime care costs for individuals at between £25,000 and £50,000, with the state covering the rest.

It appears adopting the Dilnot proposals could cost up to £10 billion (AUD $318 billion) annually, which would force Mr Johnson to raise taxes and to institute cuts in spending elsewhere.

Is “user pays” the solution?