The Equity Release Council has expressed concern following publication of the government’s white paper on social care.
“While we are obviously delighted that the government has recognised the important role that housing equity can play in paying for care, we have some serious reservations as to the approach and overall lack of clarity,” said Andrea Rozario, director general of The Equity Release Council.
“Do local authorities have the finances or the expertise to make this scheme the success that it needs to be? What will the set up cost be? What sort of rates will Councils need to charge to keep the schemes running?
“The overall lack of clarity and the move to side-step dealing with the key issue of funding suggests that rather than trying to seriously tackle this problem, the government is looking to buy itself time. Consumers, councils and care providers as well as the financial services industry need clarification.
“The government’s refusal to lay out a clear financial frame-work is huge cause for concern. While obviously the system needs to deliver good value to tax-payers and excellent care for consumer, delaying making any concrete decision for up to two years is doing everyone a disservice. How can anyone plan their retirement if they don’t know how much they should budget for care?”
Rozario added: “The government needs to provide details on these proposals as soon as possible. The UK’s over-55s do have access to £250 billion in housing equity but we need to ensure that we provide a fair and defined framework so consumers can make informed choices about their finances.”