My thoughts on Social Care Cap :
Every government past and present have attacked people with various disabilities no matter what their background ie race, age or religious believes yet we have various legislation to protect us all from discrimination in place.
I concur that Social Care does need to be reformed but not at the tax payers expense as this is going way too fast and this is to please the rich donors of the Conservatives. Yes there is a need to get more Social Workers and Care Assistants well-trained staff to take on the new challenges of Social Care before it can go any further the coalition need to close the loopholes in the current legislation before introducing a new set of rules.
Any carers have been calling for this for sometime as they are the ones who visits both Public and Private Sectors who provides Day and Night Care services to their relatives and friends both in Day Care and Care Homes some of the providers still continue with bad practices yet at times it continues to go unchallenged by the Social Care Commission or if they do some private companies just closes it organisations down then rebrand themselves under a different name(s)
I would expect it from the Far Rights groups but not from the main political parties. It is in my opinion with the recent events of people with disabilities have been targeted or made scapegoat off. I concur that there are some bad apples that abuse the benefit system and they need to be rooted out. The Marjory with disabilities are law-abiding citizens.
The coalition does not give a monkey as they only see pound signs in their eyes of making cuts in all the benefits be it bedroom tax, council tax or social care. There will come a time when we will not recognise NHS or benefit system in the next 15-20 years’ time as most of the services will be sold off to the private sectors. The more I look into the coalitions they are strongly adopting a mixture of Republican and Thatcherite policies which I’m sure that I will be accused of scaremongering.
Now we learn that the Public Accounts Committee said the Work Capability Assessment had resulted in too many wrong decisions which were overturned on appeal.
Its chair Margaret Hodge accused the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of being “unduly complacent” and of hurting the “most vulnerable”.
But employment minister Mark Hoban accused the MPs of “scaremongering”.
The Work Capability Assessment tests was introduced in 2008 to assess entitlement to Employment and Support Allowance, after it was claimed the old system was failing.
The company Atos was paid £112.4m to carry out 738,000 assessments in 2011/12.
The committee found 38% of appeals against the DWP’s decisions had been successful.
Ms Hodge, a Labour MP, accused the government of “poor decision-making”, which was “damaging public confidence” in the system.
Although Atos has faced criticism, “most of the problems lie firmly within the Department for Work and Pensions”, she said.
“The department’s view that appeals against decisions are an inherent part of the process is unduly complacent,” she said.
“The work capability assessment process hits the most vulnerable claimants hardest.
“The one-size-fits-all approach fails to account adequately for mental health conditions or those which are rare or fluctuating.”
Although the department had “started to improve”, she said, claimants “too often” found the assessment process so stressful that their health deteriorated.
“A key problem is that the department has been unable to create a competitive market for medical assessment providers, leaving Atos in the position of being a near monopoly supplier,” she said.
“The department is too often just accepting what Atos tells it. It seems reluctant to challenge the contractor. It has failed to withhold payment for poor performance and rarely checked that it is being correctly charged.”
In 2010, the government commissioned Professor Malcolm Harrington to review fitness-to-work benefit assessments. He subsequently called for an overhaul of the system to make it more “fair and humane”.
Mr Hoban said the committee’s report “completely” failed to recognise this.
For Labour, shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: “This damning report exposes the chaos and confusion at the heart of the Tory-led government.”
He called for” fundamental change of the test before any more money is wasted and any more people are hurt”.
Elderly people in England will not have to pay more than £75,000 for long-term social care after 2017, the health secretary is expected to say on Monday.
The state would pay the cost of any care above that figure, which does not include food and accommodation costs.
The figure is much higher than that recommended by the Dilnot report, which said any cap should be set at £35,000.
Its understood the threshold for means-tested support will rise from £23,000 to £110,000.
Reform of social care has been the objective of successive governments but only limited changes have taken place and cross-party talks broke down.
Full details of the agreement are set to be revealed in Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s statement to the Commons.
The £75,000 cap is thought to only cover the cost of care, bought at local authority prices.
Paul Lewis, from BBC Radio 4’s Moneybox programme, said other associated costs, such as board and lodging or hotel fees, would mean individuals paying far more in real terms, before the cap is applied.
Tim Reid said there was some speculation plans to abolish the second state pension would provide the chancellor with funds to cover the costs.
A source close to Mr Hunt said: “This is a problem that has bedevilled governments for decades. The spiralling costs of social care and people being saddled with costs and having to sell their homes.
“The coalition felt that this was an important decision that needed to be made and we thought long and hard about how to do it and pay for it. And we believe this is a viable solution.”
This could… represent a real step forward in giving older people and their families peace of mind”
End Quote Michelle Mitchell Age UK
The BBC understands the health secretary fought off attempts by the Treasury to have the bill for the scheme paid for from his department’s budget.
Economist Andrew Dilnot was commissioned by the coalition government in 2010 to examine options for overhauling the social care system.
Mr Hunt is quoted in the Daily Telegraph as saying the lower cap, recommended by Mr Dilnot, would “not be credible” in the current economic climate.
“We’re in a period where we have a huge deficit and the over-riding national priority for all of us when we become pensioners is actually to get the national debt under control.
“So it’s not helping anyone to announce a generous cap by increasing the national debt. We need to have some realism, the important thing is that we have a cap.”
The health secretary added that he would expect pension and insurance companies to offer new products “where people save for their social care just as they save for their pension”.
Currently people with savings and capital of more than £23,250 have to pay for care costs. Those with assets of between £14,250 and £23,250 have these taken into account when their contribution is assessed. Below £14,250, only a person’s income is considered.
It is expected Mr Hunt will announce a new means-testing threshold of about £110,000, 10% higher than the figure recommended by the Dilnot Commission although lower than the figure demanded by campaigners.
A £75,000 cap is so high that it would only help ‘the few’”
End Quote Alzheimer’s Society
They say, despite the changes, many people will still have to sell their homes to pay for care under a £75,000 cap and £110,000 threshold arrangement.
Michelle Mitchell, charity director general at Age UK, said she was “encouraged” that the social care funding issue “appears to be emerging… from the long grass”.
She added: “If… the government is about to announce that lifetime contributions to care will be capped, then this could, if the level is not set too high, represent a real step forward in giving older people and their families peace of mind.
“We hope that the government is compassionate and brave in its quest to balance affordability in the current economic climate with a fair deal for those forced to pay high care costs.”
The Alzheimer’s Society said that a large rise in the capital threshold could take thousands of people “out of the firing line” for huge costs.
But commenting on the cap, it added: “A £75,000 cap is so high that it would only help ‘the few’.
“It is vital that government also looks at the huge underfunding of the system.”
Stephen Burke, director of United for All Ages, was more critical of the government plan, saying families “will be in for a rude shock”.
“The government is sneakily shifting the cost of care further and further onto older people and their families,” he insisted.
Mr Burke added that there were “fairer and better alternatives” to the scheme, including raising the capital threshold to at least £200,000 or higher.
In Scotland personal care is free for those over the age of 65 who have been assessed by the local authority as needing it.
People who live at home are not charged for personal care services, while those paying their own way in care homes get more than £200 a week to cover personal and nursing care.
While Holyrood says it is fully committed to the funding of free personal care, figures published last year showed the cost of providing it had risen by more than 150% since 2005.
In Wales, a weekly maximum of £50 is charged to all those using non-residential social services;.
The Welsh government has pledged to build a new system of paying for social care that was “fair, affordable and sustainable in the long-term”.