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IPPR argues for free social care for over 65s

23 May 2019

IPPR thinktank argues for free social care for over 65s in England

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a left-of-centre thinktank, has called for personal care to be free for over 65s in England in a report released today. The report, by IPPR researchers Harry Quilter-Pinner and Dean Hochlaf, proposes to pay for free social care through an increase of 1.31 percentage points in national insurance, or a 2.11 percentage point income tax rise. They also call for greater integration of the health and social care systems, through the creation of regional-level integrated health and care commissioners, and creating local Integrated Care Trusts to join up health and social care.

The report makes no mention of under 65s who receive social care, even though nearly 300,000 people between 18 and 64 received social care services in England in 2017/18, making up more than a third of all adult social care recipients, and accounting for nearly half of social care expenditure. 

According to Evan Odell, a researcher at Disability Rights UK: "This report is one more example of a longstanding problem in discussions about health and social care. Working-age disabled people are simply shut out of these conversations, as the popular assumption is that the NHS and social care system are services exclusively used by pensioners. Access to free at point of need social care should be based on need, not age."

The full report, entitled Social care: Free at the point of need - The case for free personal care in England, is available on the IPPR website: https://www.ippr.org/research/publications/social-care-free-at-the-point-of-need.