Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said: “History will not reflect kindly on a government that has promised so much and delivered so little on long-term care. More than six years after the original Dilnot cap was proposed it appears we are back to square one. It’s quite incredible that the Conservative Party appear to be so blasé about abandoning key election promises, although it’s perhaps a sign of the weakened position of Theresa May’s minority administration.”
The Conservative manifesto in the run up to the June General Election had included a policy proposal for those with more than £100,000 of assets to pay for their long-term care but the idea was quickly scrapped after it met with a fierce backlash from the public and politicians alike.
Ministers are now said to be considering introducing a scheme under which workers contribute to a fund for their long-term care from their wages, similar to the successful auto-enrolment pension initiative launched in 2012.
A government paper into long-term care funding is reportedly beset by delays and will not now published until next summer, instead of the end of this year, as originally expected.
Rachael Griffin, head of trusts and technical solutions for Old Mutual Wealth, said the government must address the issue with well thought-out policy proposals.
“Long term social care continues to be a big headache for government. There is no quick fix to the enormous demographic shift we will experience as society ages. Government tried to tackle the issue in 2011 when Andrew Dilnot proposed a social care cap, but the fact that firm action has been kicked into the long grass shows how tricky the matter is.
“We are still a long way from realising a long-term policy solution to the question of social care. As we continue to wait for the hotly anticipated green paper on social care, speculation over what might be contained increases.
“We hope the delay is due to the government taking extra time to come up with a fully thought out and well communicated policy, which represents an acceptable compromise for all parties via a cross-party parliamentary group. The disastrous proposal from the manifesto has left a bad taste in people’s mouths.
Need for later life care
She added: “The public still vastly underestimate the likelihood they will need later life care and so there may be some concern that they are paying towards something that they will never use.”
Surveys show many UK expats living and working overseas plan to return home for retirement. Many may now need to seek additional financial advice to ensure their finances take account of the potential for higher, or uncapped long-term care costs.