Care Fees – featured in the Hunts Post 22/12/21
I personally consider the care fee rules as unfair. I accept that a person living in their own home would have to pay their own living costs of food and utilities, etc. and it seems fair that these should still be met by the individual going into care, but the open-ended liability for care costs, I believe, is wrong as is stating a level of assets an individual can keep. They should keep them all in my opinion.
The Government have agreed to cap fees from 2023 at £86,000, and this should be applauded, but is it as generous as it looks given all costs pre that date look to be ignored?
£86,000 is about the cost of the average stay (19 months). This means the only people to benefit are those who stay in longer than average. “Houston, we have a problem”.
Many families care for their elderly as long as they can. If families know the total cost is going to be £86,000, I can envisage more people going into care sooner, but we have both a shortage of places, and carers to look after them.
Having been closely involved with looking after someone in my own home, I can vouch for how good the local care service is, but like all parts of the medical care service, it is at straining point.
Maybe it’s time the Government provided care home establishments and Government paid employees. This would mean an agreed standard of care by higher paid employees and cut much of the work/costs of others involved in the funding process. A Doctor would simply make the recommendation to go into care and the NHS system would provide a place.
There could still be a private sector for those not wishing to use Government care homes, and perhaps many of the existing care homes could become nationalised and form part of the NHS.
There is still the need to find the £86,000 to pay, plus the living costs, but a bit of planning via pensions could solve this problem. Given the tax relief on the pension saving in the form of PAYE and both Employer and Employee NI, saving the cost of £86k could become less than half and provided by other family members. I am not sure the Government have realised this loop hole exists, and they probably will not be reading this article, so plan early. You could even set a separate pension pot for your own future.