Monday, July 04, 2011
The economics of long-term care
Posted by David Smith at 07:00 PM
Category: Thoughts and responses

The Dilnot Commission has published its recommendations, which in summary are the following:

- Individuals’ lifetime contributions towards their social care costs – which are currently potentially unlimited – should be capped. After the cap is reached, individuals would be eligible for full state support. This cap should be between £25,000 and £50,000. We consider that £35,000 is the most appropriate and fair figure;
- The means-tested threshold, above which people are liable for their full care costs, should be increased from £23,250 to £100,000;
- National eligibility criteria and portable assessments should be introduced to ensure greater consistency; and
- All those who enter adulthood with a care and support need should be eligible for free state support immediately rather than being subjected to a means test.

The cost looks modest for achieving big changes, just £1.7 billion in 2010-11, though it rises, to £3.6 billion in 2025-6, in 2010-11 prices. The Treasury's concern will be over how rapidly these costs rise. The report is available here.