Advent of the National Care Service

Author: By James Tapsfield, Press Association

The idea is expected to form the centrepiece of the long-awaited Green Paper
on social care, as ministers struggle to prevent the public finances being
overwhelmed by the ageing population.

There has been anger that many old people are currently forced to sell their
family home in order to meet the fees at a care home. Services also vary
widely between local authorities across the country.

The Government wants to introduce a “minimum care entitlement”, which would
smooth out the postcode lottery.

The document will outline a series of different options for funding the
scheme, which could include a levy on people’s estates after death.

Another suggestion is for every elderly person to contribute up to £20,000.

With the cost of care for some currently reaching £200,000, ministers believe
this would give people more certainty over how much money they need to save.

There are now more pensioners than children in Britain, and the burden on
workers to cover state pensions and health care costs will increase.

It is estimated that unless urgent action is taken, there will be a £6 billion
black hole in the funding of social care within 20 years.

The Government signalled yesterday that the legal retirement age of 65 is set
to be scrapped or raised, allowing people to work for longer if they want to.

The age from which the state pension is payable is also due to rise to 68 for
both sexes by 2046.

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