Government ‘considering mandatory care payments for over-40s’

The government is said to favour the introduction of mandatory social care contributions paid by people aged 40 and over, according to the Guardian newspaper.

A report claims officials are exploring different mechanism by which the over-40s would contribute to their care provision, such as through tax, national insurance or insurance.

The Guardian quotes a source saying the government has a “preference for some sort of Japanese-style model where once you are over 40 you start paying into a central risk pool”.

Japan introduced in 2000 its long-term care insurance system - part social insurance, part taxation and part co-payment – in response to a shortage in affordable care provision.

Mandatory social care contributions is favoured by many in the sector. In written evidence submitted this month to the health and social care select committee’s ‘Social care: funding and workforce’ inquiry, the National Care Forum said a shared risk pool is required to address the current “unfairness and uncertainty” of the funding system.  

The Guardian noted, however, the Treasury is said to have doubts about imposing mandatory social care contributions on the over-40s.  

The government meanwhile is said to be looking at funding reform amid “a renewed urgency” in Downing Street on “fixing” the sector. 

In a related development, a coalition of charities and councils have urged the government to publish its timetable for social care reform before Parliament returns from summer recess in September.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England, together with 32 other organisations – including the Alzheimer’s Society, NHS Confederation and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, set out seven principles that should underpin social care and support reform in light of Covid-19.