Long-term care financing - Should the planned cap on liability to meet care costs be uniform across England or vary across the country?

Raphael Wittenberg, Ruth Hancock, The CASPeR Team

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This report presents data on regional variations in a range of relevant variables to inform discussion about whether there is a case for the planned cap on liability to meet care costs to vary in value between regions or areas of England. Care home fees are generally higher in more affluent areas, reflecting higher wages and higher property prices. This means that a higher proportion of service users will reach the cap, and will reach it more rapidly in London and much of southern England, than in northern England. The proportion of older households comprising an older home owner living alone –the group most likely to need to fund their own residential care -varies between regions, being highest in London and lowest in the East of England and East Midlands. This means that, other factors equal, Londoners are more likely to need to self-fund their residential care and hence more likely to benefit from the cap on liability for care costs. Moreover home owners in London and the South East have higher average housing wealth than home owners in the rest of the country. Average net weekly income before housing costs for single pensioners –and most care home residents are single, mostly widowed –vary between regions, being highest in London. Other factors equal, service users funding their own care in regions with higher incomes can make a larger contribution to its costs from their income and use less of their savings than those in regions with lower incomes. There are different dimensions of equity that could be considered relevant to the choice between a uniform cap across the country or a cap which varies by region or local area. Much depends on which dimension of equity is considered more important.
Original languageEnglish
Typebriefing note
Media of outputwebsite (pdf)
PublisherPension Policy Institute (PPI)
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2016


  • care costs

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