Tory leadership hopeful Dominic Raab pledges £100k lifetime cap on OAP social care costs if he becomes PM

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BRITAIN’s OAP social care time-bomb became a central issue in the Tory leadership race yesterday after Dominic Raab pledged to impose a £100,000 lifetime cap on costs if he becomes PM.

As part of his plans for a radical overhaul the elderly would pay for their residential care until the value of their assets fell to £100,000. This would be up from the current ‘floor’ of £23,250.

Dominic Raab will put a £100,000 lifetime cap on OAP care costs if he becomes PM
EPA

Mr Raab is the first leadership candidate to lay out detailed plans for how he would tackle Britain’s ticking time-bomb of elderly care, which is estimated to cost £19 billion a year by 2040.

Prime ministers have ducked the decision for more than a decade.

But Mr Raab’s comments put him on a collision course with fellow leadership contender and Health Secretary Matthew Hancock, who has warned that a £100,000 cap on costs would cost taxpayers £3.5 billion a year.

And Mr Raab clashed with fellow leadership hopeful Liz Truss, who said she instead wants to see an insurance-based system to cover social care costs.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury told a Tory leadership hustings hosted by the Telegraph on Monday night that there are currently “huge disincentives” in the social care system.

Backing plans that would see people pay towards a social care insurance plan over their lifetime, Ms Truss said: “It is much fairer that you provide for yourself.”

Senior Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg also waded into the debate yesterday by calling for the elderly to make a maximum contribution of £5,000 a year for those with incomes over £27,000 per year.

He backed a report by the Policy Exchange think tank recommending social care be funded through general taxation so that it is paid almost entirely by the Government like the NHS.

It says this would be the “logical completion of the Welfare State”.

SAVE FOR CARE PLAN

Mr Raab, speaking alongside Ms Truss at the Tory leadership hustings on Monday, said the Government should encourage people to save towards a social care plan but called for a cap on lifetime costs and a new asset level.

He said: “The key thing is we need to consult on the precise level but I think we need to have clarity around the asset level and I think it’s probably around £100,000.

“We need to have clarity as to the cap on costs which is probably also around £100,000.

“The two things that that will do in relation to the crucial problem we’ve got around social care with an ageing population is one, make sure that there are viable insurance products that people can contribute to take control of the first chunk of the problem which is being able to basically allow those who are getting older to contribute to their own care for that period.

“What it also does in relation to what’s called the tail end of risk, where people living for very long periods with things like dementia or other lottery illnesses or debilitations – it allows the state to step in and say ‘okay in relation to those very high costs for a very small number of people we’ll make sure you don’t have to sell your home’.

“I think if we got the cap and the floor in the right place in the consultation we’d get this problem fixed. What we must not do in this country – and if the leadership contest does one thing when it comes – we must flesh out answers to this kind of problem.

Poor kid, rich OAP

CHILDREN are more likely to be born into poverty today than any other generation since the 1950s, a report warns.

The Resolution Foundation says 35 per cent of those born from 2016 to 2020 will be in a poor household by age two.

But pensioner poverty has been slashed by two-thirds since its peak in the 1980s to 15 per cent.

The think tank said lower housing costs and bigger pensions helped OAPs, but youngsters are hit by higher costs.

It called for Government to reverse benefits policies that increase the risks of child poverty.

  • By Kate Ferguson, Westminster Correspondent


“We cannot duck the burning issues that will affect not just the older people but also the younger generations for years to come. We must not duck those big issues.”

Mr Raab also revealed he has met Andrew Dilnot, who led an independent commission under David Cameron that recommended lifting the asset threshold to £100,000.

It comes after The Sun revealed last week that the Government’s long-awaited plans to shake-up OAP care have now been delayed until the autumn. The Social Care Green Paper was originally due in 2017 but a row between Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the Treasury and No10 has pushed the proposals back by another five months.

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