26 January 2010
Today (Friday), the Minister for Social Security, Deputy Ian Gorst, is launching a Green Paper on the funding of long-term care in Jersey.
The purpose of the Green Paper is to seek responses from the general public and other interested parties on how long-term care in Jersey should be funded in the future.
Launching the consultation, the Minister for Social Security said:
‘I recognise that the cost of long-term care is an important issue for many local families. The current system for supporting care costs is difficult to understand and has been the subject of some criticism. Until families need to organise care for a relative, many people have little idea of the range or cost of care services available in Jersey.
‘Jersey’s population is ageing. With people living longer, there is likely to be a doubling in the cost of care by 2026. Over the same period, there will be fewer working age people paying tax so at a time when the amount of money needed is rising, the pot of money – as presently constituted – to fund the necessary care will be diminishing.
‘Alongside this, there are other ever-increasing demands on the public purse in the Island, such as the need to fund the Social Security pension, meet rising healthcare and hospital costs, and fund major infrastructure projects.
‘It is essential that we consider now how to put in place a system that strikes the right balance between the user and the taxpayer and is robust enough to deal with the increasing demands.
‘At this stage, I am not making any formal recommendations. However, to stimulate discussion and encourage your views, four possible options on the way ahead are set out in the Green Paper.
‘I want to emphasise that the amount and type of care that the States can provide is directly linked to the contributions or taxes that pay for it. The greater the coverage of any scheme, then the higher the contributions/taxes needed from the public to fund it.
‘I encourage everyone to read this Green Paper. A shorter summary document is also available. Please let us have your views by completing the questionnaire or attending the public meetings that are being arranged. Your views matter to me. Nothing has yet been decided and your responses will make a difference.
‘The written responses and feedback from the meetings will be collated and will inform a policy document (White Paper) that I intend to publish later this year setting out specific proposals.
‘One day, we, or someone close to us, may need long-term care and therefore we all have an interest – not least as taxpayers – in the standard of care, the cost of delivering it and how it is paid for.’