Means-test winter fuel cash call

Winter fuel allowance should be means-tested to help pay for the reform of elderly care, according to the former Lib Dem minister Paul Burstow. But the Government says capping care costs still remains the best option.

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Minister: We are not going to means-test fuel benefits

David Willetts said the Prime Minister stands by his pledges Credit: ITV News

The Universities Minister David Willetts has said in response to a call for winter fuel benefit to be means-tested:

"David Cameron and the Conservative Party made it very clear promise during the election campaign that we were not going to means-test the winter fuel payment and David Cameron stands by his pledges".

Alzheimer's Society: Talks on how benefits cake cut 'vital'

In response to former care services minister Paul Burstow's call for winter fuel payments for pensioners to be means-tested to help increase the elderly care pot, the Alzheimer's Society has said:

We can’t ignore that millions of people, including many people with dementia, are being denied access to essential care because of the colossal hole in the adult social care funding pot.

Discussing how we cut the cake in terms of where money is spent, including benefits for older people, is therefore vital.

However, these discussions should not be held in isolation. The only way to achieve a long term sustainable solution is for all the political parties to agree on a complete and achievable package of funding. People’s lives depend on it.'

DoH: Capping costs 'best way to fund care'

We still have a long way to go if this country is going to be one of the best places in Europe to grow old.

There is no doubt capping costs - the principle recommended by Dilnot - is the best model - the key question is how to fund it sensibly given the current deficit.

We are looking at how to achieve this, along with taking action to ensure people do not have to sell their homes to pay for care.

– Department of Health

Pensions expert on winter fuel payment conundrum

In response to calls for winter fuel benefit to be means-tested, Ros Altmann, the Director-General of the Saga Group who formerly advised the Government on pensions, has tweeted:

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Labour MP: Real money needed to avoid elderly care 'crash'

In response to Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow's call for winter fuel payment curbs to help fund elderly care costs, Labour MP Paul Flynn tweeted:

Funding cap will help 'broken social care system'

Currently, elderly people in England have to contribute to their own care costs if they have savings of more than £23,000.

The Centre Forum report suggests the costs could be met by ending the universal entitlement to winter fuel payment and granting it only to those receiving pension credit.

The report calls for an overhaul of the elderly social care system

The report said:

"The Government needs to be clear in its message that a reformed capped funding system is the most appropriate way of dealing with a broken social care system, a crisis that has lasted over 10 years.

"The Treasury needs to grasp the 'best opportunity in a decade' provided by the Dilnot Commission, the goodwill expressed by the financial services industry and by care providers.

"Most importantly it should pay heed to the views of thousands of people who risk losing their entire life's work through having to pay for unexpected and unlimited care costs."

Winter fuel payment 'an anomaly in our welfare system'

Former care minister, Lib Dem MP Paul Burstow, has called for means-tested winter fuel payments to help pay for elderly care costs

Writing in the Guardian, he said the current system is an "unfair lottery that leaves the exposed to huge care costs".

The winter fuel payment is an anomaly in our welfare system.

By earmarking this money for something else we stop those funds disappearing into the Treasury coffers and divert them into the pockets of older people in desperate need of care.

If we are serious about sorting out the biggest unaddressed social issue of our time, the money has to come from somewhere. This is the fairest way to get "something for something" instead of something for nothing. After all, I'm making these proposals because I want end the care lottery that sees people lose their assets, their homes and their dignity.

MP calls for winter fuel payments cut to fund elderly care

The majority of pensioners should see their winter fuel allowance cut to help fund a reformed system of care for the elderly, a former minister said.

Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow has said only the poorest of pensioners should receive the benefit and savings could help pay for a fairer system of state support for elderly care.

New report suggest elderly care costs could be met by ending the universal entitlement to winter fuel payments Credit: Katie Collins/PA Wire

In a report by the Centre Forum think-tank, the former care minister, said the move would help meet the cost of implementing the findings of the Dilnot Commission, which proposed capping the amount individuals have to pay for care during their lifetime.

He suggested setting the cap at £60,000, higher than the £35,000 proposed by the Dilnot Commission, saving the taxpayer up to £1.5 billion a year.

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