Pensioners with more than 23k savings not eligible for care scheme.


Pensioners with savings of more than £23,000 could have to run them down before becoming eligible for a scheme designed to prevent people from having to sell their homes to pay for social care.  

The care minister Norman Lamb has caused controversy by saying that it was reasonable for people with ‘a vast amount of money’ to be expected to run down their savings before being eligible for the scheme.

The scheme that had been previously been billed as ‘universal’ would allow the elderly to defer paying for care until after their deaths.  However, under new proposals the scheme would only be available to those with less than £23,000 in savings.

The minister maintaining that those of ‘quite significant means’ should be expected to pay for their own care and that on-one would be forced to sell their home in order to pay for care bills.  He said;

“If someone as well as their home has substantial other assets, money in the bank, shares or whatever, should they be expected to use those assets to pay for care?  Or should be say, we will always defer the costs of selling their home?”

“If you’ve got a vast amount of money in the bank, you’re quite wealthy, it’s desirable that we protect that money but the scheme has to be affordable.”

“If together with owning your own home, you have more than £23,000 – odd in the bank, the question is should you be expected to use that money.  You are not forced to sell your home.”

Although still only a proposal, many argue that  £23,000 in savings is not a vast amount of money, but merely a modest amount to have responsibly saved for retirement.

The Labour peer Lord Lipsey said people would be ‘completely mad’ to take advantage of the scheme because keeping their home would mean a poor quality of life;

“If you’ve only got £23,250 you won’t be able to have the things that make life worth living: presents for your grandchildren, books and newspapers.  Practically nobody is likely to take up this option of the deferred payment.  This is an act of Government sabotage against it’s own scheme.”

Shadow care minister Liz Kendall claimed the scheme was a ‘disgraceful u-turn’ saying;

“Ministers have repeatedly claimed that no-one will have to sell their homes to pay for their care and that their care costs will be capped at £72,000.  This simply isn’t the case.”

“Now we discover that many older people will have to use up their other savings and assets before they qualify for any help”.

“Elderly people who have worked hard and played by the rules will rightly feel angry that the Government has tried to pull the wool over their eyes about what their plans really mean.  Older people and families deserve to be told the facts so they can properly plan for their future”


  • Date posted:
    18/10/2013
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