2013 Care Bill: Budget update
In my article on the Care Bill 2013 “Is this the solution to our unfair system” of 28 February, I expressed the concern that the Bill will not provide the extra resources needed to support our ageing population. I have now had an opportunity to consider the implications of last week’s Budget, with particular regard to the pensions liberalisation, and I fear that the potential underfunding of the elderly care system could be significantly worsened by these provisions.
The effect of the pension reform will be that it will be easier for people to spend their pension pots before they require care, meaning that Local Authorities may very well have to step in to make up the difference.
The Care Bill was obviously based on the pension regulations in place at that time. It could not have been contemplated that pensions would be liberalised to the degree whereby pensioners could opt to cash in their pension nest eggs rather than buy annuities thus reducing their income by the time they require elderly care.
This all adds up to a lack of “joined up thinking” by the Government, potentially placing greater pressure on an already creaking system.