25 June 2010
People in Jersey would like a new funding system for long-term care in the Island. This is the key message to emerge from a recent consultation on the issue.
The preferred approach is a new long-term care benefit, funded by additional Social Security contributions. This would be paid to those assessed as needing high-level long-term care – either in a care home or in their own home.
Respondents support the idea of excluding a person's main residence from any means testing, but want savings and investments to be included to some extent in any financial consideration.
Responding to the consultation results, the Minister for Social Security, Deputy Ian Gorst, said "If we move forward as suggested, hardworking Jersey families would no longer be faced with the prospect of paying up to £1,000 a week in care fees and seeing their hard-earned savings disappear. Some payment will be required, but under the approach favoured, everyone who meets the criteria would receive some support from the States, therefore lessening the financial impact on individuals.
"I agree that funding the new scheme through compulsory contributions is the fairest approach to tackling this pressing funding issue. The best way forward has to embody a partnership approach whereby the States and individuals requiring care share the risks, responsibilities and costs associated with the funding of long-term care.
"I am keen to maintain the momentum. We really cannot afford to wait. The results from the consultation give me a clear steer with regard to our direction of travel and I intend to publish more detailed proposals in the form of a White Paper later this year. The intention is that this will be followed by law drafting in 2011.
"I would like to thank all those who took the time to complete the questionnaire and to attend the meetings on long-term care funding. As I have acknowledged, the responses will be invaluable in informing policy development on this important issue. I recognise that there is a strong desire for change and I will now propose a new scheme for the funding of long-term care."