Research from Just Group has found that a cap on care costs is the favoured option among the British public for funding long-term care – and support has reached its highest level since Just Group first started tracking it.
In the latest Just Group Care Report, findings suggest that nearly three-fifths (58%) of over-45s support the idea proposed by the Dilnot Commission in 2011, which would limit the amount an individual has to pay for care before the State begins to contribute towards the cost.
Just Group started asking the question in 2014 and, although support initially dipped, it has now risen to its highest ever level, with even stronger support among over 75s as nearly two-thirds (65%) of this group are shown to favour a cap on care costs.
Stephen Lowe, Group Communications Director at Just Group, believes the figures demonstrate a growing realism about the cost of care among the public who firmly place responsibility for setting a clear policy at the Government’s door.
Stephen says, 'Funding social care has been a perennial problem that’s dogged governments for decades now. Despite all the talk about solving the care crisis and delivering a sustainable policy, the public has seen precious little progress in the last 20 years. This government doesn’t appear to be breaking the mould, as yet another delay was quietly slipped out in the House of Lords last week.
'While the coronavirus pandemic has been the focus of attention for the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, they cannot kick the can down the road for much longer.
'These findings demonstrate that support for a model that shares cost between the individual and the State has reached its highest level since we started running the research in 2014. The public recognises they will have to make some contribution to the cost of care but they also want some certainty on how much that will be – and, quite rightly, are looking to the Government to make that clear.
'But there’s little public confidence – even among Conservative voters – that the Prime Minister will fulfil his pledge to “fix” social care policy in this parliament.'
Only 43% of people who voted Conservative in the last General Election are confident the Prime Minister will produce a social care policy before the end of this Parliament and only a third (35%) think he can put that social care policy into practice. Just 3% of Labour and Liberal Democrat voters are confident in Mr Johnson’s ability to produce a policy, and 2% among both parties’ voter base believe he will implement it this Parliament.
'Voters have heard it all before so it’s no surprise they’re extremely sceptical of yet another promise to implement a policy within four years,' Stephen continued. 'Absence of consensus has been used as an excuse for lack of political progress but perhaps the barrier is more a lack of political courage.
'People are open to the idea of sharing the cost between the individual and the State, and they want a solid outcome they can plan around. Our research shows that the absence of a practical solution appears to worry people more than the finer points of the solution itself.
'Planning later life care is difficult, it’s emotional and at the moment deeply unpredictable. This lack of policy coupled with constant talk of change leaves some of the most vulnerable in our society even more exposed to poor outcomes as they put off making plans.'