Care costs ‘unknown’ to Londoners

Three in five Londoners incorrectly believe they won’t have to pay anything towards the costs of their old-age care, according to a recent poll commissioned by London Councils.

Government reforms, currently going through Parliament, will introduce a lifetime contribution limit of £72,000 for care users with assets of above £23,250, thus ending the threat of unlimited care costs. Under the plans though, care users will be expected to cover their ‘hotel’ costs which includes food and accommodation.

The Ipsos MORI poll of 1000 Londoners, showed 58 per cent believe that should they need to use care and support services in the future these will be free, and nearly two-thirds know nothing or very little of plans to ‘cap’ or limit costs.

Councillor Ravi Govindia, Executive member for adult services at London Councils, said: “It is worrying that the majority of Londoners are unaware of the potential costs they could be facing in old age, even with the very welcome proposed changes to the system.

“It is important for people to realise even under the plans, they will remain responsible for certain costs, which will not count towards the limit or cap.

“This is a particular concern for London boroughs as our research shows more elderly people in the capital are going to reach the care cost limit much sooner than in other parts of the country.

“While we welcome plans for a fairer system for adult social care and the end of unlimited care costs, a national campaign is needed to raise awareness of these changes, and to get more Londoners to begin to save for their old age.

“If local authorities are going to deliver a fairer system, it is also vital that there is enough funding to do that. We don’t want to see councils being left to pick up the tab at a time when money is tight.”