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As we edge closer to next week’s Budget announcement, Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to lay-out plans for emergency social care funding at 12.30 on Wednesday 8 March.

In the short-term, this is likely to result in an injection of funds in the region of £700m-£1bn, but what are the longer-term options being considered by the government?

The Financial Times reports that a Whitehall Committee of social care experts directly advising the Prime Minister is considering a number of changes that ‘could be implemented at the turn of the next decade’. 

One such idea is the remodelling of inheritance tax upon death; an additional levy on top of inheritance tax. Also being revisited is the placement of a £72k ceiling on the amount individuals would have to pay in old age towards the cost of their care – a scheme that was postponed until at least 2020 back in July 2015. 

Other ideas set-out include compulsory social insurance where people over a certain age pay compulsory premiums to fund the cost of care after the age of 65. 

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England informed the Commons Public Accounts Committee on Monday that he would welcome “a fundamental look at the way social care financially links to other aspects of retiree security” adding that “the Prime Minister has signalled that is something she has initiated.”

For now however, the Government remains quiet about any firm commitment to long-term plans to address the funding of adult social care. 

In the coming months though, it’s envisaged that the short-term funding will be used to help relieve some of the pressure on hospitals where patients remain in beds unnecessarily. Exactly where the additional funding will be allocated will not feature specifically within Hammond’s speech, but one likely route is through local pathways responsible for delivering both health and social care services. 

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