Clegg backs cap on people's care costs

Posted on 10 January 2013

Nick Clegg has claimed a maximum limit on the amount older people must pay for their long-term care will be brought in before the next general election.

The Deputy Prime Minister said an announcement would be made in the near future about the Government's proposals to change the way long-term care for the elderly is paid for.

This comes in the wake of a review by economist Andrew Dilnot into how much elderly people should have to finance their own care.

He recommended introducing a cap of between £25,000 and £50,000 in a bid to avoid large numbers of pensioners being forced to sell their homes to meet the cost of care.

The Government has also been investigating the possibility of a higher limit - possibly £75,000 or £100,000.

Liberal Democrat Paul Burstow, a former health minister, asked Mr Clegg in parliament whether the Government would commit to making the cap law during the current parliament.

He said the measure was vital for people's "peace of mind" and to end the "care lottery" which currently exists in the UK, with large numbers of elderly people worrying about how they will finance the support they need in old age.

Mr Clegg responded by saying that the Government's proposals would be made public "in the coming weeks".

He said the Government had always agreed with the principles laid out in Mr Dilnot's review and said it was committed to helping people avoid facing "catastrophic" care bills.

He agreed that legislation needed to be brought in soon to stop the long term cost of care for the elderly spiralling out of control and leaving people with no choice but to sell their own homes.

However, he said there were details about how the new law would be paid for in the future that still needed to be worked out.

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