Home Money How would the Lib Dems plan for free grooming work… and how much would it cost?

How would the Lib Dems plan for free grooming work… and how much would it cost?

0 comment
Free personal care: Plan could help seniors stay in their homes longer, supporters say

Free personal care: Plan could help seniors stay in their homes longer, supporters say

Free personal care could help the elderly stay in their homes longer and free up hospital beds under a Liberal Democrat plan.

The party is pushing proposals that would help elderly and disabled people with everyday tasks such as washing, dressing and receiving medication, and would increase the pay of care workers to address staff shortages.

The plan for England would be similar to Scotland’s system, where free personal and nursing care is available to all adults deemed eligible by local authorities.

The Liberal Democrats were the first to announce a detailed care policy for England during the election campaign.

Proposals are now expected from Labor and the Conservatives, on an issue that many health and finance experts believe politicians neglect because it is too difficult and expensive to address.

The Conservative Government decided in autumn 2022 to suspend the launch of a lifetime care spending cap until autumn 2025, the flip side of the election.

That plan would introduce a cap of £86,000 on what an individual has to spend on care – but based on some, not all, of their private contributions and not on total costs – and would increase the asset threshold to start receiving support from £86,000. 23,250 to £100,000.

> How is care currently financed? See the chart below

The Labor Party has previously said it would create a national care service that would tie more closely to the NHS, as well as opening neighborhood health centres, but has He allegedly suggested that he would not legislate on this issue in a first term. in the office.

Meanwhile, the Greens have promised £20bn more a year for social care by 2030 as part of a massive spending package for health services, including upgrading hospitals and equipment.

money" data-version="2" id="mol-432889c0-24b7-11ef-9461-bf53a028044b" data-permabox-url="https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-13505461/Plan-free-personal-care-washing-dressing-Liberal-Democrats.html">

How is care paid for today?

Under the current system in England, a person’s assets, including the family home, are reduced to £23,250 if they need to go into a care home.

If you require care in your own home, your assets must be depleted to a level set by your council, which cannot be less than £23,250, but your home is excluded from this means test.

Scotland offers free personal care, Welsh runs a different means-tested system where people may have to pay up to £100 a week for non-residential care, and North Ireland It has different rules again.

The Nuffield Trust health think tank looked at how Welfare works here in all four UK countries.

Research among over-45s on social care shows that 47 per cent are delaying financial planning for potential residential needs until the Government confirms new rules on how they could be funded in the future.

Just Group, which carries out annual surveys on knowledge and attitudes towards social care, added that this proportion rises to 62 per cent among people over 75, who are likely to need care sooner.

“Repeated political attacks by successive governments are negatively influencing people’s commitment to the old-age welfare system and deterring them from making much-needed plans should they need this support,” says the financial services company. .

As he’s the first out of the election campaign, we take a look at the details of the Liberal Democrat proposal, which could prove influential (especially as a version of it already works in Scotland) and round up the experts’ responses.

What is the Lib Dem free self-care scheme?

The Liberal Democrats say they would ensure no-one has to sell their home to pay for healthcare by introducing free personal help for those who need it, following the Scottish model.

It would cover people who are at home and also in nursing homes, but in the latter case residents would still have to pay for accommodation.

The party would also hire more social care staff and introduce a “carer’s minimum wage” which would pay £2 more than the usual minimum wage.

Unpaid carers would get an increase in carers’ allowance and a legal guarantee of regular breaks.

The Liberal Democrats plan to cover the £2.7bn cost by removing a tax break for big banks.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey joined residents at a DrumFit class at Abbotswood Court Care Village in Romsey, Hampshire, while campaigning for the June 5 election.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey joined residents at a DrumFit class at Abbotswood Court Care Village in Romsey, Hampshire, while campaigning for the June 5 election.

What do social care and financial experts say?

Free personal help with washing or dressing is only a small part of care needs

The Liberal Democrats are right to include the desperate need to improve social care as a key part of their election proposals, says Camille Oung, member of the Nuffield Trust health think tank.

Free personal care in England could help more people access some state-funded care, but the cost associated with both this and increasing pay for care workers seems inadequate.

All parties should see comprehensive care reform as a priority, but this must be based on credible and sustainable funding rather than further tinkering at the margins.

Free personal care – such as washing or dressing – is only a small subset of what social care can offer, and risks reducing flexibility to tailor care to the needs of people, including disabled working-age adults. .

Without adequate funding, local authorities would struggle to cope with an increase in demand for personal care, as seen in the early years of implementation in Scotland.

We want to see a social care system that allows people to make decisions about how to live their lives, and this is unlikely to be achieved by defining a narrow package of care that appears focused solely on older people.

It is positive that the Lib Dems are trying to address pay for care workers, which for too long has not been competitive with other sectors, but this should form part of wider long-term workplace reform including career progression and recognition that ensures that social assistance is a valued and attractive sector to work in.

money channelTeaser--2-5-1 " data-track-module="seo-articles^article-list-module-v2" data-track-pos="static">

Free personal care would be a huge improvement, if properly funded and delivered

We welcome the Liberal Democrats’ plans to address some of the pressing issues facing the social care sector, which has been undermined by decades of political neglect and underfunding, says Lucinda Allen, senior policy director at the Health Foundation charity.

We look forward to seeing if other political parties follow suit and offer details on their plans to address this long-standing political failure.

Under the current system, many elderly and disabled people lack the care they need, staff wages and conditions are poor and reliance on unpaid carers is high.

money" data-version="2" id="mol-a1090f90-24b9-11ef-9461-bf53a028044b" data-permabox-url="https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-13505461/Plan-free-personal-care-washing-dressing-Liberal-Democrats.html">

How much will improving social assistance cost?

The Health Foundation has published cost estimates for reform funding options, including free personal care.

  • A Scottish-style “free personal care” model in England – around £6bn extra in 2026/27, rising to £7bn in 2035/36
  • The current government’s proposed spending ‘cap’ is £86,000 – an additional £0.5bn in 2026/27, rising to around £3.5bn in 2035/36.
  • An NHS-style comprehensive, universal care model: around £17bn in additional funding by 2035/36
  • Meeting growing demand for social care and improving services: an additional £18 billion by 2032

While free personal care would not protect people with higher care needs against catastrophic care costs, it offers basic support for everyone with the cost of some care services.

Free personal care, if properly funded and delivered, would be a huge improvement on the current threadbare safety net for people with care needs and their families.

It is also positive that the Liberal Democrat proposals include plans to increase pay and improve the professional status of care workers, but the scale of the challenge should not be underestimated, with one in 10 roles in the sector currently vacant.

The next government must implement significant reforms to address the deep injustice of the social care system.

Reforms and investments are needed to improve access to care, protect people from the extreme costs of care, improve staff pay and conditions, and better support unpaid carers. Inaction is not an option.

A wave of demand for social assistance is coming

For decades, we have been beating the drum to encourage the development of long-term cross-party policies to support the ailing welfare system, says Stephen Lowe, director of financial services firm Just Group.

But successive governments have been content to relegate the problem of social assistance to the category of “too difficult.”

With 3.5 million people over 65 now living alone, an increase of around 420,000 in the last decade, the government should see the wave of demand for social care ahead.

Aside from demographic pressures, the beleaguered NHS is also suffering from a lack of adequate social care, making it difficult to discharge patients, adding to existing pressures on the service.

The Liberal Democrats have made clear their policy on fixing social care, which is inextricably linked to support for the NHS. We look forward to hearing what, if anything, Labor or the Conservatives have to offer.

Sadly, no one will be surprised that, despite all the noise around the general election, there is a deafening silence on meaningful social care plans.

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them, we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

You may also like