A new long-term settlement for social care

Independent Age commissioned Grant Thornton UK LLP to create a model that would identify how much money would be generated by a number of different policy options available to the government to fill the ever-widening social care funding gap in England. At the same time, we asked the Social Market Foundation to look at the financial impact these policy options would have on individuals of different ages, with different income and wealth.

Nine different policy options have been proposed at various times during the prolonged discussion of the future funding of social care. They were analysed by both organisations:

  1. Increasing Income Tax by 1%
  2. Increasing National Insurance for both employees and employers by 0.5%
  3. Charging National Insurance to the working population over the age of 65
  4. Introducing an age-related levy of 0.7% to the working population aged 40 and over
  5. Introducing a one-off payment at age 65
  6. Increasing Inheritance Tax by 2%
  7. Increasing Council Tax by 3%
  8. Increasing Corporation Tax by 1%
  9. Increasing business rates by 3%

The result is a comprehensive analysis of the relative merits of these different funding policy options, key aspects of which are contained in our report A taxing question: how pay for free personal care


Read what people had to say about our report

“Our social care system has been starved of the necessary funding needed to meet the care needs of older people. Independent Age’s call for free personal care and how it could be afforded provides a clear option for increasing the quality of care, simplifying the social care system and ensuring that if people are paying more for social care, they will be entitled to access personal care to help meet their care needs.”

Martin Green, Chief Executive, Care England

"We have a good legislative base in the form of the Care Act but we lack the funding to deliver it. This report comes at a time when the future of social care in England and how it is funded is being considered. This is a significant national and yet highly personal matter that transcends political, social and economic considerations. No government has found a sustainable, long term solution though many previous attempts have been made.

The question isn't just a technical one that seeks to find a suitable funding mechanism – as challenging as that is in its own right. It is also about what kind of adult social care we want to see and in consequence how much money will be needed to fund that model. This report offers a good insight into these two critical questions and arrives is a timely fashion. For anyone interested in the future of adult social care in England it constitutes recommended reading from my point of view."

Glen Garrod, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS)       

"Everybody deserve access to high quality social care as they get older. No one should go without the support they need or face catastrophic and unpredictable care costs and offering free personal care is one way of doing this. 

IPPR recommended in the Darzi Review earlier this year the need to invest more in social care now, extending the principle of 'free at the point of need' beyond the boundaries of the NHS. I am delighted to see that Independent Age - as a leading voice in the sector – also supports these necessary reforms."

Lord Darzi

“This report is a positive contribution to the debate on what sort of care and support people want and how we fund these vital services.”

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chair of the LGA Wellbeing Community Board

"ILC-UK very much welcome this campaign from Independent Age which makes a compelling case for 'free' social care. Now it is time for the Government to respond." 

Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, President of the International Longevity Centre


Read the documents