Dilnot report risks welfare of elderly, warns MP

The Dilnot Commission report into the funding of care for the elderly does not focus enough on the quality of care older people receive, according to a Conservative MP.

John Redwood, chair of the Conservative Party’s economic affairs committee, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the report focuses too much on protecting the inheritance of elderly people’s children and not enough on ensuring that no elderly person receives inadequate or inappropriate care.

The report, published in July, recommends capping individuals’ lifetime contributions to their social care costs at £35,000, as well as increasing the means-tested threshold above which people must fund the full cost of their care from £23,250 to £100,000.

It was generally welcomed by the equity release sector, with Safe Home Income Plans claiming the report’s proposals will create certainty for consumers and lead to more innovation from equity release providers.

Redwood’s comments come as a group of 60 experts and charities urged the government to reform the social care system in a letter to the Daily Telegraph.

The letter says the UK is currently failing to meet the challenge of greater life expectancy, but argues that following the Dilnot report and with a white paper on social care due to be published in April, we are closer than ever to reaching a consensus.

It says: “We urge the government and the other party leaders to seize this opportunity for urgent, fundamental and lasting reform: delivering a social care system which can provide the well-funded and high-quality care and support we would expect for ourselves and all our families.”