We have all the time in the world

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We have all the time in the world

‘I don’t want [our children] brought up in a country where the only way pensioners can get long-term care is by selling their home’.

(September 1997  – New Prime Minister, Tony Blair’s speech at annual Labour party conference)

‘Nobody should have to sell their home for dementia care costs’

(July 2019 – Boris Johnson)


Twenty-two years have passed between Tony Blair and Boris Johnson making almost identical statements. Since then, numerous elections, proposals, coloured papers (White and Green), commissions and spending reviews have come and gone with little if any change.

Further to Boris Johnson’s pledge to end the cruel injustice of families being forced to sell their homes to cover the cost of caring for loved ones with dementia, the latest government proposal being put forward focus on a three-point plan as summarised below:

• Councils will receive an additional £1bn for adult and children’s social care in every year of the parliament, with the government pledging to consult on a 2 per cent pronouncement that would enable councils to access a further £500m for adult social care for 2020-2021.

Comment – putting this into context, spending on the NHS in England was around £129 billion in 2018/19.

• To seek cross-party consensus in order to bring forward the necessary proposals and legislation for long-term social care reform in England.

Comment – this exact approach was last called for by the David Cameron lead Conservative Government in January 2017, little if any progress was made

• The government stated it would ensure that nobody needing care would be “forced to sell their home to pay for it”.

Comment – what does this mean? Is this simply an extension of the current Deferred Payment Scheme where the local authority takes a charge on the property to fund care fees. With this approach you are not selling your home but effectively building a debt against your property with each monthly payment of your care fees. On death, the property often has to be sold to clear the debt to the local authority.

From 1997 to 2019, no significant changes have taken place to help prudent savers / homeowners pay for the cost of their own care.

The average cost of paying for nursing care in the UK is £910 per week (£47,320 per year); this cost will be significantly more in the South East. In most instances, the dilemma of having to fund care fees is at the point of need e.g. Mum needs to go into a nursing home and its going to cost £1,500 per week, how do we pay for this?

If you find yourself in this position and want to understand the options and put in place a tailored solution please contact Peter Magliocco, our Society of Later Life (SOLLA) financial planner.

Spending on the NHS in England – . total health spending in England was around £129 billion in 2018/19 and is expected to rise to nearly £134 billion by 2019/20, taking inflation into account. In 2018/19 around £115 billion was spent on the NHS England budget 9 July 2019.

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26 Apr 2024

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