Charity calls for free personal care for the elderly

Older people’s charity Independent Age has called for free personal care for those aged 65 and over to help solve the social care crisis.

A new report, produced in partnership Grant Thornton UK LLP and The Social Market Foundation, looks at various funding options for social care, including what they would cost the individual and what the funding situation might look like in 10 years’ time.

Alex Khaldi, Partner and Head of Social Care Insights, Grant Thornton UK LLP, said: “With public sector finances edging ever closer to a tipping point, this report marks an important contribution to the ongoing debate around the future of social care funding. Presenting the financial output of each funding option, along with the tax implications, provides a detailed picture of what should be seriously considered going forward.”

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The report presents a number of funding options, including Income Tax and National Insurance, asking people aged 40 and over and their employers to pay a new small tax, and asking those who can afford it to pay a lump sum of £30,000 on retirement.

The report’s authors acknowledge, however, that no single funding option is likely to provide a solution to people’s expectations and the level of expected care required.

Alex added: “Time is running out to address the funding question surrounding the future of our struggling social care system, and it is vitally important that taxation is brought into the discussion to ensure we create a funding system that is fair for everyone. While we know there is no one easy option, this report makes it clear that many people are not adverse to the idea of increased taxation, as long as it is used as intended.

“We hope this analysis forms a useful part of the public debate to help address the growing gap between the increasing demands of a changing demographic and the funding of the system designed to support them.”

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