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Wednesday, 06 December 2017

£10,000 increase in amount of capital care home residents in Wales can keep

Written by Rod Minchin

The amount of money people in Wales can keep when in residential care will increase from £30,000 to £40,000 from April next year, it has been announced.

The move is part of the Welsh Government's commitment to increase the capital limit used by local authorities who charge for residential care from £24,000 to £50,000 during the current Assembly term.

The increase is being delivered in a phased approach, which commenced from April 2017 when the limit in relation to residential care was increased to £30,000.

The capital limit determines whether a person pays for the full cost of their residential care, or whether they receive financial support towards the cost from their local authority.

There are up to 4,000 care home residents who pay for the full cost of their care, the Welsh Government said.

Increasing the capital limit to £50,000 has the potential to benefit a significant number of these, depending upon the value of the capital they hold.

Social care minister Huw Irranca-Davies (pictured) said: "The Welsh Government is committed to supporting older people, and those requiring care, to live the lives they want to lead.

"We promised to more than double the capital people can keep when in residential care - freeing up more of people's money for them to use as they wish.

"We are now well on our way to delivering that pledge to the people of Wales. We know that well over 400 people are already benefiting from the increase in the limit, and we expect this to rise substantially when the limit is increased to £50,000."

Meanwhile in England, people who have capital and savings above £23,250 have to fund all of their own social care.

When the Care Act was introduced in 2015, there was a suggested cap on care costs of £72,000 with its implementation delayed until 2020. However, this is now in doubt following the general elections of 2015 and 2017.

The Government ditched plans for a so-called "dementia tax" to fund social care after it proved unpopular during the general election, in which the Tories unexpectedly lost their parliamentary majority.

A consultation on how to proceed was announced in June's Queen's Speech which is expected to consider both a "floor" and a "ceiling" for care costs.

Last month, ministers announced they would bring forward a green paper on the future of social care funding by summer 2018.

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