Huw Irranca-Davies, Minister for Children and Social Care
Today I am announcing a second increase to £40,000 in the amount of capital those in residential care can retain without having to pay for their care.
This is a further significant step in delivering our commitment to raise the capital limit to £50,000 by the end of this Assembly.
This is one of our top six ‘Taking Wales Forward’ commitments. It allows people in care to retain more of their hard earned savings and capital to use as they wish, particularly later in life.
Last year, following engagement with stakeholders, we confirmed we would increase the capital limit in stages from its original level of £24,000 to our £50,000 commitment. From April we raised the limit to £30,000 and provided an additional £4.5 million per annum to local authorities to support its implementation. This increase resulted in Wales having the highest capital limit in the UK and has been welcomed by care home residents and prospective residents alike.
Some 4,000 care home residents in Wales pay the full cost of their care due to their capital being over the limit. I am pleased to report that the introduction of a £30,000 limit has helped well over 400 of these in only the first six months of its operation, with more to benefit over the coming months. Even at this early stage this is a very positive outcome in delivering our commitment and a clear indicator as to the significant number who will benefit once a £50,000 limit is in place.
In view of this positive position I am pleased to announce that the capital limit will increase to £40,000 from next April to benefit yet more care home residents. Implementation will be supported by additional funding of £7 million per annum being included in the final local government settlement for 2018-19 to be published later this month.
We will monitor implementation of these changes to not only track the number who are benefiting, but to ensure the funding we are providing is appropriate. If necessary, we will make adjustments to future allocations to make sure local authorities are funded correctly.