Call for social care reforms3rd January 2013
A report by a Liberal Democrat MP has suggested that winter fuel benefits need to be "means-tested" in order to pay for elderly care bills.
Paul Burstow said the tests could be used to contribute to the majority of the £1.7 billion cost of reforming elderly care in England.
Under the current system, elderly people in England must pay for the costs of their care if they have over £23,250.
In Scotland, care is free, but in Wales and Northern Ireland systems like England's one are in place.
Mr Burstow's report sets out the idea that people should pay a maximum of £60,000 towards their care, but could have up to £100,000 in assets.
The report said winter fuel allowance should only be given to people who receive pension credit.
This would give the government savings of £1.5 billion annually and would see around 75% of people losing their entitlement to the allowance.
Mr Burstow, the former care services minister, said: "Social care isn't free, but it could be a lot fairer for those who have worked hard all their lives. By concentrating the winter fuel payment on those eligible for pension credit, we can pay for a cap on care costs."
Michelle Mitchell, of Age UK, said the introduction of a cap on care costs would "lift one of the great fears of becoming older".
However she added: "We appreciate that the country is facing difficult financial times, but we must be careful that the wider implications for older people of any potential source of funding are fully considered."
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Friday 4th January 2013 @ 8:54
It's quite complicated for elderly people to pay money to take care of them during financial crisis. Maybe one has to find alternate solution to this problem.
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Title: Call for social care reforms
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 23429
Date Added: 3rd Jan 2013