15 November 2010
Today (Monday 15 November), the Minister for Social Security is publishing a white paper on a new approach to long-term care funding.
A new long-term care benefit will pay for the majority of an individual's high-level care costs. This will be funded by a new social security contribution. Pensioners who can afford it will also contribute to the fund. These contributions will be held in a ring-fenced fund, meaning that they can only be used to fund long-term care.
The benefit will only be available to people with 10 years’ continuous residence in the Island.
Individuals who require care will still need to pay towards their day-to-day living costs, but it is anticipated that this will be much less than the sums that people are paying for long-term care at the moment.
Launching the white paper, Deputy Ian Gorst, the Minister for Social Security, said "Faced with an ageing population and the rising cost of long-term care, we need to find a workable and enduring solution to this challenge. Fairness is at the heart of my proposals. 1 in 4 of us may need long-term care in the final years of our lives. What we need to do is to try and make the financial aspects of moving into care more certain and less worrying. Sharing the cost of care across the community helps achieve these aims.
"This approach reflects the views of the majority of respondents to the green paper I published earlier this year. There was a clear desire for change and a move away from the current emphasis on individual liability for care fees.
"I know that many hardworking Jersey families have expressed concern about the costs of long-term care. I want to remove the financial uncertainty and worry that many families currently face as a close family member moves into care. My proposals will mean that losing the family home will no longer be an issue. Families will be able to pass on the property they have worked hard for to their relatives.
"I also know that people wish to remain in their own home for as long as possible and I am pleased to say that this scheme will encourage this.
"As always, I welcome comments from members of the public and interested parties on my proposals. I would particularly welcome your observations on the 2 suggestions I have put forward for the treatment of assets under the means-testing support for the cost of the co-payment. These focus on the extent to which the main residence and / or other assets should be considered – an issue that I know will be of interest to many."
The white paper can be downloaded from the consultations section of the website.
Long-term care funding white paper