Expert casts doubt over care costs cap

A finance expert based in Shropshire has questioned who will actually benefit from Government proposals to cap long-term care costs.



Robin Melley, from Matrix Capital near Bridgnorth, claims the new proposals may not be as appealing as they seem. "It may look like good news that the total amount anyone will have to pay for their care should be capped. But when you actually get down to the small print of the proposals, it looks very different,” he said.Under plans people with savings of up to £123,000 will be given support for the costs of their care, a threshold which will be raised from the current £23,250.“This may sound like a large increase, but in reality given the size of the potential problem for our older clients, it’s not very much at all,” said Mr Melley, a chartered financial planner and chairman of the Telford Business Partnership.



A new total cap of £75,000 on the costs that people in England have to pay for the care they receive will also be introduced.“At the moment there is no limit on the amount someone who needs care is expected to pay, and the idea of a cap of £75,000 sounds great, particularly to more wealthy families.“Clients who are less well-off though will still find the amount they have left to pass on to their loved ones will be substantially reduced.“And of course, the cap will not come in until April 2017, so anyone going into care before then will probably pay considerably more with no way of claiming it back.”Mr Melley said the most important small print was that the £75,000 did not include ‘hotel’ costs such as the accommodation and food, which would be extra costs to cover.“Many people may not have appreciated this, and so they will find they still need to pay more to cover their basic costs on a day-to-day basis.“All of these proposals may be a step in the right direction, but the system will only change in this way if the Bill becomes an Act of Parliament in its current form and there are no amendments.“We all know the UK has an ageing population and I suspect the proposed protection may well be watered down when the time comes for these policies to be introduced.”


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