After more than a decade of delay and several failed attempts, the government is reportedly preparing for another attempt to solve the UK social care crisis.
“The system being considered by officials is a modified version of how Japan and Germany fund social care,” Security report.
“Both are widely admired for creating sustainable ways to finance social care to deal with the increasing needs brought by the elderly population.”
What is wrong with the UK system?
“The current system is widely regarded as unfair, complex, confusing and fails to meet the growing care needs of the population,” he said Nuffield Trust.
This varies greatly not only between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but also between different local authorities in each part of England.
While some people are paid by the state, others must use a large part of their savings before they can receive government support.
How does social care work in Japan?
Japan has “one of the most comprehensive social care systems for the elderly in the world”, said Conversation. It was introduced in 2000 after a long debate about how to care for the oldest population in the world.
“This system is partly funded by a national insurance fund that is paid more than 40s into and in part from general and local taxation,” Nuffield Trust said. Individuals pay 10% of the cost of their own pocket.
“Japan has traditionally relied on hospitals to provide care for long-term sick people,
although the use of home care is increasing, “said Dana Raja. “Residential care institutions are not permitted to make a profit,” but home care is largely provided by private companies.
Eligibility for services is determined by a medical assessment carried out by the care manager, who is then responsible for organizing the necessary support.
“The essence of the Japanese system is a strong commitment to the prevention of long-term loneliness and ill health,” said the Nuffield Trust.
This represented “in contrast to Britain’s short-term approach, driven by budgetary constraints, which increasingly focused only on those who had the highest needs”, he added.
How does social care work in Germany?
In 1994, Germany launched “a universal and equitable funding model, supported by the two main political parties”, said the London School of Economics.
Less expensive than the Japanese system, it was intended only “to fulfill basic needs”, said Dana Raja. But the care provided is identical across countries and is determined by the individual’s needs rather than his ability to pay.
Even though richer individuals are expected to add to the government’s contribution with their own money, they are not expected to pay all their care costs – because they are in the UK. Poorer Germans can propose proven benefits to cover funding gaps.
To fund the system “everyone starts paying into funds since they started working”, said AM City. “At present 1.5% of everyone’s salary, and the same amount from the employer, is protected to pay for treatment at a later date.”
The contribution “is managed by a health insurance company,” Dana Raja said, and was used to pay various supports. “Almost all social care, including institutional and home care, is provided by private providers,” he added.
What can Britain learn from Japan and Germany?
The proposal to increase taxes for people over the age of 40 to fund universal care in old age “emerged as the government’s preferred solution to the social care crisis, after Boris Johnson last year promised to fix it ‘once and for all’,” City AM reported.
If Johnson wants to succeed where many of his predecessors failed, he must convince the skeptical public that his proposals will work for them.
In Germany, there is a broad understanding that “long-term care is a social risk that requires social protection,” LSE said. “This is not a partisan position.”
In Britain, on the other hand, previous attempts to reform social awareness have run aground on party politics.
“In 2010, the Labor government was accused by the Tories of planning a ‘death tax’ with proposals for levies at the time of death to fund universal national care services,” Independent report.
“In turn, Conservative Theresa May was greeted with hostility after the 2017 party election manifesto included a proposal for more people to pay for social care by selling their homes. The policy was labeled as a ‘dementia tax’ by the opposition. “