Residential and in-home care should be almost entirely paid for by the government, Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has said.
He argued that social care contributions should be capped at £5,000 a year to ensure pensioners do not lose their homes and their life savings to pay for care costs.
Writing for The Telegraph, Rees-Mogg argued that it is better to pool risk by paying for social care out of general taxation, rather than imposing “ruinous” costs on people when they are at their most vulnerable.
This is at odds with Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, who is understood to favour a system of social care insurance based on the auto-enrolment pension scheme. A cap of £100,000 on personal contributions is also under consideration.
A report by the Policy Exchange think-tank, supported by Rees-Mogg, suggests that social care should be funded through general taxation, with only the wealthiest pensioners expected to contribute extra, at a maximum rate of £5,000 per year.
Rees-Mogg argued that it is inherently unfair that while the state pays for the healthcare needs of people with all other illnesses, such as cancer, those with dementia or other needs associated with old age are expected to pay out of their own pocket “until they are down to their last £23,250”.
Social care costs an average of £44,000 per year, according to Policy Exchange.
Instead, he said social care should be free at the point of use, like the NHS.