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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Public interest in social care plummets

There has been a significant fall in interest around who should pay for social care in the UK amid a “policy paralysis” widely blamed on Brexit, new research has uncovered.

Care reform being neglected because of Brexit ©Shutterstock
Care reform being neglected because of Brexit ©Shutterstock

Just Group’s latest report on social care reveals that the proportion of over-45s interested in the debate has fallen from around two-thirds to just over half this year.

At the same time, the percentage saying they are “not interested” in who pays for social care has almost trebled to 17%.

It was also found that more than half of over-45s believe care reform is being neglected due to Brexit, with three in 10 worried this will negatively impact provision and quality.

“Repeated delays to government proposals appear to be corroding interest in the debate and that could well be further weakening interest in planning for care,” Just Group communications director, Stephen Lowe, said.

“Last year we called for a ‘national conversation’ about care, but without proposals there isn’t much to talk about.”

The research also found that nine in 10 people with experience organising social care were shocked at the cost, with two-thirds finding it difficult to find the right information.

This comes after Aegon warned that Brexit and the Conservative leadership battle had cast doubt on when the government’s green paper on social care will finally be published.

The insurance firm said that the government must come up with a “stable and sustainable” way of sharing costs between the state and individuals based on their wealth.

This will have to be fair and accepted as such across generations and wealth bands, as well as avoiding the current geographical lottery, the company added.

“We urgently need an open debate around how to meet the costs, including the potential for increased taxes,” pensions director, Steven Cameron, said.

“Individuals must have a clear understanding of what they’ll be expected to pay should they need care, ideally with an overall ‘cap’ on care costs so that they can start planning ahead.”

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