In preparation for the government's Care and Support green paper Saga carried out research amongst 11,500 over 50s to gauge their views on the provision of social care. The results show that some of the proposals are not as popular with today's over 50s as the government may hope.
As expected the vast majority of over 50s resoundingly agree that the current system of means testing is unfair. However the problem of how to ‘fix' the funding gap is leaving over 50s divided. The current postcode lottery in care looks particularly unpopular, with half of over 50s questioned in favour of a system that would see the government provide a set standard of care for everybody, regardless of where they live, and which could be topped up by the individual if they wish.
Only one in five of those preferred an insurance policy approach, paid throughout their working lives, to fund care should it be required. However, the alternative strategy of a one off payment at retirement or death to pay for care, equally lacks support: only 6% think long term care should be funded this way.
Emma Soames of Saga comments, "The current system for the provision of care and support is widely accepted as being outdated and in many cases grossly unfair. Saga's research clearly shows that the funding proposals debated so far are receiving a decidedly cool reception amongst over 50s."
Long term care insurance: News update: 15/07/2009