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UK among lowest spenders on social care in Western Europe

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The UK is among the lowest spenders on social care in Western Europe due partly to strict eligibility criteria, according to new data analysis.

The UK ranked 10th out of 12 countries in the analysis of OECD data published by The Daily Mail.

Caroline Abrahams, of Age UK, said: “It’s depressing to see the UK so close to the bottom of the league.

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“To some extent at least, you get what you pay for and the fact that we spend less helps explain why the service here is so restricted and also patchy in terms of its quality.”

State spending on social care in the UK at £695 per head of the population compared with £1,530 in Norway, £1,451 in the Netherlands, £1,222 in Sweden and £1,033 in Switzerland.

Germany spent £777 per head and France £722. Spain and Portugal came last with £218 and £208 per head, respectively.

Anyone with assets, including the value of their home, over £23,250 has to meet the costs of their care in the UK.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to tackle inequities in the social care funding system.

While announcing a £1.8bn boost for the NHS, Mr Johnson told The Times yesterday: “We are also starting work now on new plans to tackle the injustice of social care. It is not right that some families should be forced to sell their homes to pay for the exorbitant costs of care.

“We need to face up to this challenge once and for all — and this government is determined to do so. We will solve the problem of social care that has been shirked for decades and we will deliver on the priority of the people of this country — to ensure that the NHS has the funding it needs to continue to be one of the best healthcare services in the world.”

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The author Lee Peart

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