Social care funding should be capped at £35,000
Funding of adult social care in England should be capped by the state at £35,000 with the government meeting any costs above this, an independent report says.
Economist Andrew Dilnot has called for changes to the system and says the means-tested threshold, which currently stands at £23,250, should be increased to £100,000.
The commission on funding of care and support, who conducted the report, says if the changes were implemented, no one going into residential care would have to spend more than 30% of their assets on social care.
At the moment at least 20,000 people a year are currently selling their homes in order to pay for this care.
An estimated figure for the cap for these costs is between £25,000 and £50,000 with an ideal amount of £35,000 - but the bill for these changes if implemented today could be around £1.7 billion.
Residents of care homes would still be expected to pay for their general living expenses. These charges should be capped at between £7,000 and £10,000 a year but this could amount to £100,000 if the resident was there for 10 years.
The report looked at people of all ages but says it's irrelevant to take into account those under the age of 65 as a very small number in this age group pay now as most people in this category have not had time to build up enough assets.
The coalition government asked Dilnot to look into the funding of social care in England last year after claims it was getting harder for people to have state support.
Dilnot says: "The issue of funding for adult social care has been ignored for too long. We should be celebrating the fact we are living longer and that younger people with disabilities are leading more independent lives than ever before.
"Under our proposed system, everybody who gets free support from the State now will continue to do so and everybody else would be better off."
Health secretary, Andrew Lansley, thinks the report is positive. He says: "By capping an individual's contribution to their care an opening for financial products would occur allowing people to look into savings-based schemes and insurance, something that has otherwise caused great."