Kent County Council in campaign to cap home care fees
Kent County Council is stepping up the pressure on the
government to act on the "horrendous" care costs facing thousands
of elderly people.
Conservative council leader Paul Carter has launched a Downing
Street petition demanding the government implement a cap on the
amount people pay for their care.
If enough people sign, Parliament could be forced to hold a
debate on the issue.
The ageing population means the cost of care is likely to be one
of the greatest financial challenges facing the government.
But it has yet to act on its own study - the Dilnot report -
that recommended a cap to ease the burden on those who are often
forced to sell their own homes to look after themselves when they
Cllr Carter said the costs to the government of bringing in a
cap - estimated at about £1.7bn a year - would be worth it.
"For many of us there will come a time when we will need help
getting through the day.
"The question of how it will be paid for can be overwhelming,
and too often results in people having to sell their homes and lose
their life savings to pay for this help.
"The uncertainty of not knowing what the bill might be and how
it will be paid can be both frustrating and incredibly stressful
"There is, however, a solution out there - but it has not yet
been taken up by government."
Implementing the recommendations would spare many from the
anguish of difficult decisions, he added: "We believe it is a price
worth paying to cap the horrendous costs on some families and
individuals of paying for care in their old age.
"The government should make the elderly a priority. It is the right thing to do" – KCC leader Paul Carter
"Ministers have been
considering this report, but no decision has been made.
"We believe it should be implemented by Government by 2015,
reducing the financial impact for older people and ensuring a cap
on costs for everybody."
He urged the government to act quickly.
"The government should make the elderly a priority. It is the
right thing to do and once you had a cap, the insurance market
would see the potential."
Currently only those whose assets, including their home, are
worth less than £23,000 receive state help.
Earlier this week, former care minister Paul Burstow called for
winter fuel payments to be means tested so the Dilnot
recommendations could be funded.
If more than 100,000 people sign Cllr Carter's petition, the
House of Commons will hold a debate on the subject.
You can sign the petition here:
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