Health and Social Care Secretary pledges £3.5 billion cash boost into “unsustainable” social care system
In his bid to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister, Matt Hancock MP has promised a £3.5 billion cash injection into the UK’s “collapsed” social care system in his leadership campaign.
Matt Hancock explained that the current social care system has received a number of one-off cash top-ups to prevent it from collapsing, including £650 million this year. However, he recognised that these cash injections cannot continue and that he would seek an extra £3.5 billion in the next spending review.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Matt Hancock described the current social care system as “not up to scratch” and unsustainable.
He added: “People are getting older – that is a good thing – but there isn’t enough funding in the system. And there’s a whole number of injustices.
“One of the biggest injustices is that for people who worked hard all their lives and have put money aside – the system penalises them and won’t fund their care without them having to sell the house, whereas people who haven’t put money aside get their care supported. I think this is very unfair.”
Matt Hancock also pledged to end the notion of pensioners being forced to sell their home to pay for essential care with the idea of a state-backed insurance scheme, if he becomes Prime Minister.
The idea of a state-backed insurance scheme is the centre-piece of the Government’s long-delayed ‘green paper’ on social care and is also a priority for his own campaign, Matt explained.
A state-backed insurance scheme would cover steep care costs and remove the risk of being unable to pass on a family home.
Previous attempts to persuade the insurance market to offer cover for social care costs have failed because of the potential size and unpredictability of the bills involved.
The Health and Social Care Secretary said the scheme would be voluntary, where workers would have to cover average lifetime care costs of about £40,000, but that these payments could be made over many years of a working life. It would require all workers aged 40 and above to contribute 2.5 percent of their wages.
In addition, the insurance scheme would do away with previous Conservative proposals to put a lifetime cap on care costs.