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Social Care: Funding

House of Lords written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of Lord Warner Lord Warner Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what resources could be made available to improve the funding of adult social care by (a) withdrawing all free television licences for elderly persons; (b) restricting such licences to those who pay no tax or pay tax at the basic rate only; (c) withdrawing all free travel passes to people over 75 years of age; (d) restricting free travel passes to people over 75 years of age; (e) withdrawing payment of winter fuel allowance; (f) restricting payment of the winter fuel allowance to people over 75 years of age; and (g) restricting payment of the winter fuel allowance to those who pay no tax or pay tax at the basic rate only.

Photo of Lord Freud Lord Freud The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The table below provides estimates of the expenditure associated with various forms of support for older people. The figures are expressed in cash terms and rounded to the nearest £10 million.

The estimates are based on Department for Work and Pensions expenditure forecasts combined with information on the tax paid by older people from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs Survey of Personal Incomes, and information on the overall numbers of pensioners from the Office for National Statistics population projections.

Support for older people, millions of pounds, cash terms
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
(a) All TV licences 590 620 640 680 730
(b) TV licences for those above the basic rate of tax 20 20 20 20 20
(e) All Winter Fuel Payments 2,140 2,120 2,100 2,090 2,080
(f) Winter Fuel Payments to those aged under 75 1,120 1,090 1,050 1,010 970
(g) Winter Fuel Payments to those above the basic rate of tax 80 90 90 90 90

The Government are preserving key benefits for older and vulnerable people and are committed to protecting the statutory entitlement for concessionary bus travel, ensuring that older people can maintain greater freedom and independence.

In 2008-09, approximately £860 million was spent by local authorities on reimbursement to bus operators for statutory and discretionary concessionary travel schemes for older and disabled people in England.

Trip rates among the over 60s from the National Travel Survey 2008-09 indicate that of those bus boardings per person per year by individuals over the age of 60, around 65 per cent are by individuals aged between 60 and 75; and around 35 per cent are by individuals aged 75 and over.

It could therefore be estimated that (c) costs would be reduced by around £300 million per year if the scheme withdrew free travel passes to people over 75 years of age; and (d) costs would be reduced by around £560 million per year if the scheme restricted free travel passes to people aged 75 and over.

Cost reductions would be smaller if local authorities replaced the removal of the statutory scheme with a local discretionary scheme.

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