The proposal put forward by former Deputy Prime Minister Damian Green and the Centre for Policy Studies would see the state provide a basic level of social care provision for everyone who needs it. But, as with the state pension, individuals would then be able to pay a top up insurance to get extra support and services. The report comes on the back of pledges made by Boris Johnson in the 2019 December election to finally crack the problem of providing social care.
It is understood that there are concerns about the Dilnot Commission proposals into funding it because it could still see people being forced to sell their homes to meet annual living costs.
The report shares the concerns and suggests that an individual could need to find £12,000 each year.
But any solution previously put forward has been a vote loser preventing much needed reform.
Plans in the Conservative manifesto in 2017 which included selling people’s homes were seens as part of the reason Theresa May failed to win an overall majority.
‘Fixing Social Care’, co-written by Jethro Elsden and Alex Morton, finds that, of the options being considered, a pension-style model proposed by Mr Green would be most cost-effective, while also increasing supply and meeting the increasing demand for social care.
It would also better protect people’s assets and benefit a greater number of hard-working families.
Mr Green, the MP for Ashford and former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and First Secretary of State, said: “The failure to address social care properly has become a national embarrassment. It should be near the top of the Government’s post-Covid agenda.
“Using our successful pensions system as a model, combining a universal entitlement with strong incentives for millions of people to make their own extra provision, is the most practical route to a stable and well-resourced social care sector.”
Mr Elsden, added: “It is now urgent that we reform the social care system. The coronavirus crisis has underlined how precarious the current funding situation is. We cannot continue to go on talking about reforming the system but never getting round to actually doing it.
The report also rejects Labour’s plan for the state to fund the full costs which it says would add a burden of £14 billion a year on the taxpayer.
The need to tackle social care has been highlighted in the the coronavirus pandemic which took the lives of an estimated one in 20 care home residents.
By 2040, the number of people needing help with daily activities is expected to increase by 67 percent to 5.9 million. This is expected to rise to 7.6 million by 2070.
The think tank argues that recent increases in funding for social care announced by the Government have helped to shore up the sector in the short term, but are only a stop-gap measure.