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By Debbie le Quesne

What the manifestos say about care

Of the issues that have sparked interest from all political persuasions, Theresa May’s social care plans certainly seems to have ignited the blue touch paper.

Although this has been a headline grabber, there are other things in the care arena that as an association we should also highlight and understand.

This is what the three major political parties have to say about their vision of social care.

Both the Liberal Democrat and Labour manifestos describe social care as being in a state of crisis.

The Lib Dems would have pledged to bring in an immediate 1p income tax rise ‘to rescue the NHS and social care.’

Tim Farron says money from income tax rise will go into ring-fenced £6bn annual budget to address chronic underfunding.

In the longer term, however, this would be replaced with a health and care tax.

This would bring spending on both services together in a collective budget and be made clear on people’s pay slips what was being spent on those services.

The party said it would seek to establish a cross-party health and care convention to review longer term sustainability of the health and care finances while setting up an office of health and care funding, similar to the Office for Budget Responsibility.

The manifesto also pledges to “finish the job of implementing a cap on the cost of social care.”

So what about Labour? The party manifesto commits to “lay the foundations of National Care Service for England.” It also says there would be a limit on lifetime contributions to care costs.

Labour adds it also would “seek consensus on a cross-party basis about how it should be funded, with options including wealth taxes, an employer care contribution or a new social care levy.”

Details on the options appear scant.

The Conservative plans for long-term care, which talk only of elderly care and have nothing to say about others who may need care. Clearly there are West Midlands Care Association members whose care reaches younger adults with a whole raft of conditions.

Mrs May’s manifesto states: “Where others have failed to lead, we will act.” The social care changes proposed are that the value of someone's property would be included in the means test for receiving free care in their own home – currently only their income and savings are taken into account.

People will be able to defer paying for their care until after their death.

Those in residential care – whose property is already taken into account in the means test – can already do this.

There will also be an increase in the amount of wealth someone can have – savings and the value of their home – from the current £23,250 to £100,000 - before they lose the right to free care.

That means that however much is spent on social care, it becomes free once someone is down to their last £100,000.

In a nutshell the manifesto’s proposal is to raise the means-test threshold to £100,000.

 

“No matter whose you read, they cannot solve the problems the industry faces.

What they don’t want to say , is that in the future people will have to get used to the idea that if you want Care you will have to be pay for it, in all but it’s most basic form.

There will be a two tiered system they those who have and can chose and the those who haven’t and have no choice”. Debbie Le Quesne