Queens Speech: Social care reform

  • Putting social care on a sustainable footing is one of the biggest long-term challenges facing society.
  • The UK needs a long-term solution that will stand the test of time, and so we are committed to an ambitious three-point plan:
  • The Government is providing councils with an additional £1 billion for adults and children’s social care in every year of this Parliament. In addition, the government will consult on a 2 per cent precept that will enable councils to access a further £500 million for adult social care for 2020-21. This funding will support local authorities to meet rising demand and continue to stabilise the social care system. This will help pay for more social care staff and better infrastructure, technology and facilities.
  • The Government will urgently seek a cross-party consensus in order to bring forward the necessary proposals and legislation for long-term social care reform in England.
  • In doing so, the Government will ensure that nobody needing care will be forced to sell their home to pay for it.

Key facts

  • With 1.5 million more over 75s expected in the next 10 years, we have to find a way of caring for them.
  • Care costs are unpredictable and can be very high, which can make it difficult for people to prepare.
  • A person aged 65 can expect to have care costs paid for by the state or the individual of around £40,000 on average over later life.
  • Around one in ten people will have care costs paid for by the state or the individual of more than £100,000 before accommodation costs, while around one in four will have no costs at all.
  • There is normally no way to predict a person’s future care costs and not all risk is shared across society. This means many people risk spending the majority of the wealth for which they have worked hard to save. If they need care they will only get financial help with their costs when they have spent all but £23,350 of their life savings. Most people are unprepared for this, because the reality of care costs is not widely understood.
  • The number of people aged below 65 who have care needs is also growing. In 2018-19 over half of the public spending on adult social care was on those who are under 65, including people with learning and/or physical disabilities and mental ill health.
  • As well as committing to a long-term solution for social care, the Government has also committed to a number of other measures; doubling the funding for dementia research, providing £74m over three years for additional capacity in community care settings for those with learning disabilities and autism, and extending the leave entitlement for unpaid carers to one week.