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    From Ros Altmann:economist and pensions,
    investment and retirement policy expert

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    Category: Paying for Care

    Care crisis is getting worse – Government needs to take more action now

    Care crisis is getting worse – Government needs to take more action now

    House of Lords warns of Government policies that will make the care crisis worse and opposes National Insurance rise for health and care levy.  Raising National Insurance places more burdens on employers and low-earners, while the money will go to NHS rather than being earmarked for social care. Mandatory vaccination rules from November could see over 40,000 careworkers sacked and there are already 150,000 vacancies.  New immigration visas do not cover careworkers, who earn too little to be allowed in…

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    Social care funding reform cannot be achieved equitably or sustainably with a National Insurance rise

    Social care funding reform cannot be achieved equitably or sustainably with a National Insurance rise

    Social care funding reform cannot be achieved equitably or sustainably with a National Insurance rise – and even worse if the extra money just goes to the NHS. Increasing National Insurance is socially inequitable for funding desperately needed social care improvements which were supposedly finalised in 2019, pre-pandemic. The lowest earners pay National Insurance of 12.8% on £3,000 more of their income than other taxpayers. NI starts around £180 a week, but tax only starts around £240 a week. Pensioners, pensions,…

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    A chance to end pensioner poverty this Bank Holiday

    A chance to end pensioner poverty this Bank Holiday

    This Bank Holiday weekend, if you’re visiting elderly relatives or neighbours, could be a golden opportunity to stop pensioner poverty. Furlough payments supported workers with their living costs during lockdown, but over one million isolated pensioners have not had money they’re entitled to.  £1.8billion Pension Credit is going unclaimed by UK pensioners – this money is rightfully theirs, so do tell them about it or help them apply. Up to £9,000 a year Pension Credit for single pensioners PLUS perhaps…

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    Queens Speech – another missed chance to reform social care – if not now, when?

    Queens Speech – another missed chance to reform social care – if not now, when?

    If not now, when? Queen’s Speech missed another chance for social care reform.  The pandemic has highlighted so many failures in our social care system, leaving elderly people without the care and support they require.    25,000 people relying on social care at home died, with excess deaths in some areas doubling or trebling as Covid-19 interrupted care services.    Thousands more care home residents died last year as care homes were relegated to second class provision.    Legislation is…

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    Budget Comment

    Budget Comment

    Freezing the Pensions Lifetime Allowance will hit younger pension savers while older and wealthiest will already have protection at higher levels. Constant changes in rules and limits undermines long-term retirement planning. Chancellor should consider root and branch review of all the allowances to ensure a sustainable and stable system. This review should include identifying ways of incorporating provision for social care into long-term savings and pensions. Damage to confidence in long-term retirement planning: I recognise that the Chancellor has a…

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    Welcome NHS reform proposals are a missed opportunity

    Welcome NHS reform proposals are a missed opportunity

    Integrating NHS and social care won’t sort out care crisis without the long-promised overhaul of social care funding.    Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the massive failings in our care system which leaves elderly people as an afterthought.  Social care funding reforms desperately needed to ensure all older people have basic dignified care regardless of their illness.  I welcome the Government’s plans for a blueprint for integration of health and social care: Properly integrating social care with NHS care is long overdue,…

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    Public Accounts Committee is right to call for urgent action to ensure social care does not fail the most vulnerable

    Public Accounts Committee is right to call for urgent action to ensure social care does not fail the most vulnerable

    PAC calls for urgent short-term action on social care to ensure equality with NHS.  Government response was ‘slow, inconsistent and at times negligent’, as NHS was not co-ordinated with social care.  Current system failed those who needed it most and lessons must be learned before any second wave hits. Committee demands improved social care funding, clear responsibilities and accountability. Social Care in the UK is not fit for 21st Century and urgent radical reform must be introduced. The Commons Public…

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    Recent research from Irwin Mitchell and CEBR provides new insight into Elderly Care Crisis

    Recent research from Irwin Mitchell and CEBR provides new insight into Elderly Care Crisis

    Recent research from Irwin Mitchell and CEBR provides new insight into Elderly Care Crisis. Chancellor needs to announce measures in the Budget to encourage savings and Care ISAs. Urgent action to plan ahead can’t come soon enough. The aging population requires extra resources for care, yet no money is yet set aside for future needs. We’ve been talking about the care crisis for years, but despite reviews, Royal Commissions and even legislation, no meaningful reform has been introduced, as the…

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    Making the State Pension more flexible should focus on State Pension Age

    Making the State Pension more flexible should focus on State Pension Age

    State Pension flexibility could be welcome, but for State Pension Age, not amount of pension. Just allowing people to take part of their State Pension, while still requiring them to wait to an ever-rising State Pension age, will not remedy the injustices in the current system. We already have the lowest state pension in the developed world and receiving only part of it will just add complexity, but will not help those in failing health or caring for others. Current…

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    Four Seasons is just latest example of social care crisis which is crying out for funding reform

    Four Seasons is just latest example of social care crisis which is crying out for funding reform

    Financial restructuring of Four Seasons highlights Social Care funding crisis while Government keeps avoiding urgently-needed reform     Private equity firms and hedge funds are not stable stewards for elderly care Independent Care Home sector has been an accident waiting to happen as financial engineering has driven ownership changes. Care sector also hit by rising wage and pension costs, falling council funding and Brexit-related staff shortages. Elderly Care should not be a financial game – it has people’s lives attached….

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