Introduce adult social care vouchers to help solve the funding crisis
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Too often we’re reading about the ever-growing gap in the funding and provision of adult social care. Yet there have been few practical or financially viable suggestions to solve this problem, despite predictions that the issue will continue to worsen.
It’s a problem that keeps me awake at night. I’ve spoken to many people who are concerned about how the rising costs of adult social care will affect them in the future and it’s clear that more funding must be made available as demand increases. But as proven by an NHS stretched to its limit and local authority budget cuts, taxpayers can’t bear the entire cost of everyone who needs care.
Ahead of this summer’s green paper on adult social care, I am campaigning for the Government and industry experts to consider an initiative similar to childcare vouchers. In 1998 I set up one of the first childcare voucher schemes which has helped 600,000 parents with their childcare costs.
A similar initiative for adult social care would give families back the control over their care choices, with the flexibility allowing them to make decisions based on what’s best for them, not what they can afford.
I propose that the social care vouchers allow eligible tax payers to sacrifice a portion of their salary (up to £100 per week suggested cap) to fund either their own, or a dependent’s, care throughout adulthood. The vouchers could be flexibly accrued or deducted and would allow multiple tax payers to contribute to a single individual’s care.
Not only do I believe this to be a viable way of funding adult social care, but I am also confident that it will boost the quality of the provision, kickstarting the market as childcare vouchers did almost twenty years ago. I envisage that this scheme forms part of a wider solution, potentially to complement other strategies being put forward from other sources.
I have proposed to a number of government officials and key departments, including The Cabinet and the Treasury, that eligible tax payers sacrifice a portion of their salary to fund either their own, or a dependant’s, care throughout adulthood. The vouchers could be flexibly accrued or deducted and would allow multiple tax payers to contribute to a single individual’s care.
I have conducted a survey of 2,000 employers and employees regarding a similar initiative with vouchers for funding adult social care. More than 97% of employers said they would offer such a
scheme to their employees and 76% said they would buy the vouchers for themselves.
If implemented at the beginning of an individual’s working life, a sum as little £10 per week could provide a start towards helping the younger generation, who have a desire to be socially responsible, plan for their future.
Please sign this petition so we can improve how we care for vulnerable adults as a society.
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