The government has promised people will not be forced to sell their homes to pay for care in old age after a proposal to restrict eligibility to defer payment was exposed.
From April 2015, local authorities in England will have to offer deferred payment schemes for long-term care. This is part of the government's wider plans to ensure no one has to sell their home to fund care in old age.
However, the FT reports a government consultation document proposed restricting eligibility to people with assists of £23,250 or less, excluding the family home.
Labour peer Lord Lipsey said the proposed means-tested threshold would mean "very few people will take advantage of the deferred payment scheme".
The FT reports: “Most people who have reasonably valuable houses, who are the people most likely to want to adopt this measure, will have far more than £23,250 of other assets,” said Lord Lipsey.
“Most of them will not feel the least bit happy if they have to spend down until they have only £23,250 left in the bank before they can get any help from the deferred payment scheme. For those people, a deferred payment scheme is simply not available.”
But the government denied to had backtracked on its original promise.
It said: “We are legislating to ensure that every council in the country puts in place a scheme to allow people to defer their payments for paying care home bills . . . The fine details, as you would expect, are being consulted on now, but we are clear that this will deliver on the promise that people will not be forced to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care.”
Findings expected Budget day
As part of serious illness cover
For mortgage and later life advisers
‘Northeners cannot put up with broken care system’