Notes to editors
For further information or to request an interview with Kate Barker, please contact The King's Fund press office on 020 7307 2585 (or 07584 146035 if calling out of hours).
Costs of proposals:
- current spending on social care for older people stands at £6 billion (2014); changes to provide free care for older people with critical and substantial need would require an additional £2.7 billion funding
- costs of free care for critical and substantial need would rise to around £14 billion by 2025 – around £5 billion more than projections based on current entitlement.
A full breakdown of the commission’s funding recommendations and the revenue each would raise is below.
- A reduction of prescription payments from the current charge of £8.05 per item to perhaps £2.50, retaining a cap on the amount any individual could pay in a year but with exemptions limited to those on low incomes (£1 billion a year).
- Limiting free TV licences for the over 75s and the winter fuel payment for older people to those on pension credit (£1.4 billion).
- Ending the exemption from paying National Insurance for people working past state pension age by requiring them to pay a rate of 6 per cent, instead of the standard rate of 12 per cent (£475 million).
- Requiring new recipients of NHS Continuing Healthcare to pay the costs of their accommodation on a means-tested basis up to a cap of £12,000 a year (approximately £200 million).
- A 1 per cent increase in National Insurance contributions paid by those over the age of 40 (£2 billion).
- A 1 per cent increase in National Insurance paid by those earning more than £42,000 a year (£800 million).
The Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England was established by The King’s Fund in June 2013. The commissioners are:
- Dame Kate Barker, business economist and former member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee
- Geoff Alltimes, chair of the Local Government Association multi-agency task group on health transition and previously Chief Executive of Hammersmith and Fulham Council and NHS Hammersmith and Fulham
- Lord Bichard, cross-bench peer and Chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence
- Baroness Greengross, cross-bench peer and Chief Executive of the International Longevity Centre UK
- Julian Le Grand, Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics.
The commission's terms of reference asked them to explore whether the post-war settlement, which established the NHS as a universal service, free at the point of use, and social care as a separately funded, means-tested service, remains fit for purpose and whether, and if so how, the settlement should be re-shaped by bringing the NHS and social care system closer together.
The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and health care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible care is available to all.