Research proposes ‘third way’ for social care means testing

The government’s “confused and complex” means testing of social care should be replaced by a fairer and simplified approach, according to the City University of London’s Cass Business School.

The study conducted with the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) proposes a new approach which treats savings and income on an equal basis.

Professor Les Mayhew, author of the paper and a Professor of Statistics at Cass Business School, said: “We reviewed the current and proposed approaches to providing financial support for social care and found that we need a ‘third’ way of treating income and assets more logically and fairly and in doing so it replaces a complex jumble of limits and thresholds. Although technical details are similar, our approach is easier to grasp with fewer administrative costs, ultimately benefiting pensioners and people in social care.”

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The new approach suggests financially rewarding people for saving towards their care.  Ideas to do this include new accredited savings vehicles which would be disregarded for means testing purposes and the introduction of ‘care saving accounts’ which could help to bring new money into the system. This would be in the knowledge that savings or additional income would not be used as an excuse for reducing state support as is presently the case.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier this week urged young people to begin saving for their care expenses in the same way that they do for their pensions (see FUNDING CRISIS: Health Secretary says ‘save for your care home).

To read the Cass report, click here.

 

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