The BBC has reported that the Governments flagship policy to cap care costs in England will be delayed until 2020. Cost were proposed to be limited to £72,000 for the over 65’s and younger adults with disabilities from April 2016, but this was, of course, with caveats.
The move is somewhat unsurprising as councils have been warning for some time that the care system has been underfunded with a shortfall of £4.3bn predicted by the end of the decade which equates to almost a third.
The letter from the Local Government Association on 1 July said that while councils backed the introduction of the cap, it was not possible to cope with the extra demands the changes would bring at the moment. It said the current system was "no longer sustainable" and pressing ahead would be "deeply damaging".
It had been predicted the changes would add £6bn to public sector spending over the course of five years. The move was part of a raft of changes being introduced under the 2014 Care Act and included in the Conservative Party's manifesto.
As well as capping costs, the changes would have provided a moderately improved system of state help. Currently those with assets above £23,250 do not get any help from councils towards their costs.That was to have risen to £118,000 under the changes, but again, comprehensive conditions regarding eligibility were to be applied in any case.
Prof Martin Green, chief Executive of Care England, which represents care providers, said it was now time to come up with a "sustainable" solution "once and for all".
"If the government refuses to address the issue of funding, we will have a care system in crisis and the NHS unable to cope with the pressure," he added.