Govt decision could see elderly spend longer paying for care

Posted on 21 February 2011

An unannounced decision by the coalition government could see thousands more pensioners contribute more towards paying for care in the future.

Last month, ministers froze the threshold at which people are expected to pay for their home help or residential care for two years, meaning people will pay for longer before they receive state help.

The threshold usually rises each year to take inflation into account, but health secretary Andrew Lansley has decided that until at least autumn 2012, anybody with assets worth more than £23,250 will pay fees.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director at Age UK, said the move would cause people to wonder whether the government believes older people are immune to the effects of inflation.

"This is a measure that is once again hitting the most vulnerable and is certain to cause considerable distress," she commented.

Recently, research published by Age UK Enterprises found that over-55s are on average £30 per month worse off since September as a result of rising prices.

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