Andrew Dilnot says adult social care system is ‘most pernicious means-test’ in the British welfare state.
Andrew Dilnot, who carried out the government review into the funding for care and support in England, has condemned Britain’s social care system as “the most pernicious means-test in the whole of the British welfare state” and called for a new tax to fund adult social care for everyone who needs it.
The chair of the Dilnot commission on funding of care and support said a tax was needed to provide lifelong adult social care that was not means-tested.
The average person will need social care worth about £20,000 during their lifetime, with slightly more than a fifth of the population dying before they require any support. But for 10% of the population care costs are high: a couple with arthritis requiring residential care for the last 20 years of their lives will need care costing over £1m.
The current system provides care for adults of working age and older people with disabilities, mental health problems, sensory loss or general frailty. Personal and practical support can be provided in a care home, in the community, in hospital or in someone’s home.
For those with less than than £14,000 in capital and savings the system covers the cost of all care, but pays nothing for those with more than £23,250. Dilnot said that in its present form it creates a “massive sense of inequity and encourages a significant amount of cheating”.