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“More care comes at a cost”

“More care comes at a cost”

Tuesday 19 December 2023

“More care comes at a cost”

Tuesday 19 December 2023


Difficult decisions on ensuring sustainable funding for community care while providing more services “are not going to be easy”, with the deputy who will lead debate on plans next year advising that “more care comes at a cost”.

In an update statement to the States last week, Employment & Social Security President Deputy Peter Roffey said work is “progressing rapidly” on a variety of options for the Supported Living and Ageing Well Strategy (SLAWS).

This is scheduled to be published in the first of 2024, he said.

These could include extending the insurance scheme to cover ‘homecare’, and equity release scheme on residential property, and a complex rate of benefits to fund care. 

“What care should be provided is a key part of this, and so is how it will be funded,” he said.

Deputy Roffey recognised there would be considerable political and public opinion hurdles to overcome on these “sensitive” issues with complex financial implications.

But as no final decision has been reached, and a list of options to be presented to the States, he warned deputies against alarming the community.

The States are currently consulting the public alongside third sector organisations to gather ideas and experiences, something Deputy Roffey encouraged all to do.

elderly_couple.jpg

Pictured: The number of people requiring long-term care is already growing fast.

The work is a joint project also shared with Health & Social Care and Policy & Resources, seeking to better services for the older generations while also bolstering funding for the public insurance scheme. 

Costs are covered through social security contributions, but the States’ actuary has estimated the fund will dry-up in around 20-years if a new approach isn’t adopted.

The issue was raised during question time with prospective candidates for Policy & Resources after the former committee was ousted in a vote of no confidence.

Deputy Lyndon Trott, the new President of Policy & Resources, said he had “real issues” with an equity release scheme to help fund care, saying it “disincentivizes home ownership”.

Meanwhile Deputy Roffey, who also stood for the Presidency last week, reminded deputies that the strategy was fiscally focused due to a need to “stimulate growth” in the care sector.

He said a “dose of realism” is needed from the States as it seeks to tackle the funding conundrum. 

The views of members of the public can be shared through islandglobalresearch.com/longtermcare, by emailing info@islandglobalresearch.com or by calling 716227.

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