Dilnot report: How will we pay for elderly care?

An elderly woman The cap could cost the Treasury between £2-3bn a year

Labour paid a heavy political price before the last election for proposing what the Conservatives dubbed a "death tax". Next week the government will be urged to cap the bills people face for caring for the elderly.

The Commission on Funding of Care and Support, to be published next week, will contrast the good news - we're living longer - with the bad - the bills for caring for us are soaring. A quarter of people aged over 65 can expect a bill of over £50,000; for 1 in 10 a bill of over £100,000.

Capping that at, say, £35,000 would mean that people would not risk losing their house or all their savings. The report comes next week but today the Commission's Chairman Andrew Dilnot told me how a cap could work.

The cap would, he hopes, encourage the growth of a range of new financial products - not just care insurance but ways to release equity from people's houses and funds from pension schemes to pay bills up to the cap. The government would pledge to cover the rest.

The cap could cost the Treasury between £2-3bn a year - the same as the cuts to public sector pensions. I'm told that ministers are likely to welcome the report whilst urging those who want to see it implemented to suggest where the money might come from.

The charity Age UK has suggested asking pensioners to pay National Insurance. Other controversial ideas include means-testing disability benefits or domiciliary care. Politics could yet kill this idea too.

Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

The Europe 'bomb' goes off

Douglas Carswell's defection to UKIP is a body blow for Prime Minister David Cameron, says BBC political editor Nick Robinson.

Read full article

More on This Story

More from Nick


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 110.

    they acussed labour of creating a "death tax" you go and ask goergey porgey what he thinks of the "death tax"?a compassionate democratic country would not need a discussion on elderly care, mind, reading some of the comments on hear you know there is a section who would consider culling as opposed to higher taxes.the thing about oldage it is perpetual.

  • rate this

    Comment number 109.

    What the gov is saying is that we who struggled to keep jobs to pay the mortgage and throw money on N.I payments, to buy our homes and pay our way in society are idiots: we wasted our lives on it. It galls me that we taxpayers squander about 8 times the cost of providing elderly care on unnecessary foreign aid.

    Don't work. Live on benefits and you'll get it all for nothing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.


    They're just telling us what we want to hear. Going into any election saying you're going to put up taxes means you might as well pull out a pistol and shoot yourself dead, politically. The British electorate dont vote for tax rises en masse. The useful idiots/tribals vote for Labour, but thats because they're tribals. Labour could say they'd kill everyones first born and still get votes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    I heard a pundit on the TV this morning say that if an extra half pence were put on taxation the bill for elderly care would be covered for ALL. Problem solved!
    What is wrong with our politicians, of all parties, who are SO obsessed with low taxes?
    That is how the Germans do it...it is an integral part of their taxation system. Why do they have all the good ideas? They make good cars too.

  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

    I deduce from this idea ..that it is not worth buying a house/ saving /planning for ones retirement .......as you might as well blow your cash on fast cars/women/ men and booze.......and THEN the state will bail you out.
    Isn't £35000 plus extras (say £10000) just another form of taxation for being frugal throughout life? Bonkers!


Comments 5 of 110



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.