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Social Care - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:23 pm on 7th December 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Altmann Baroness Altmann Conservative 2:23 pm, 7th December 2017

My Lords, in the context of our demographics, with the current baby-boomer generation foreseeably entering the age at which they will need care in the next 10 to 15 years, no money has been set aside, either at public sector or at the private sector level, to cope with the rising costs of care. Councils have increasingly rationed care so that they exclude preventive expenditure to help people avoid extreme need. Whatever happens with this review, does my noble friend agree that families will need money set aside if they are going to pay for care? There is no automatic provision. There is a state pension; there are huge incentives for private pension provision, but there is nothing to build up money that would pay for care. Will my noble friend comment on the urgency of helping families understand the importance of, for example, using some of their ISAs as an allocated fund for future care? People in their 60s and 70s have ISAs and pensions. Perhaps we might allow tax-free pension withdrawals for care, so that, at some point soon, we help families put money into a fund that can last into their 80s and 90s and be there for care—in case it is needed—or perhaps be passed on to the next generation, thus starting an ethic of saving for care as well as pensions.