New poll reveals public support for free personal care

Three-quarters of adults in England back free personal care for over-65s, according to a new poll.

Free personal care for all covers support with activities such as getting in and out of bed, getting dressed, preparing a meal or shopping at home or in a care home.

According to older people’s charity Independent Age, which commissioned the research: “Free personal care for all would simplify the system, making it easier for people to know exactly how much they’d need to pay while receiving care, and what they’d get in return.” It would also make it , quicker to transfer patients out of hospital and would remove the need for people to sell their home in order to pay for care, the charity adds.  

In the poll of more than 2000 English working-age adults, almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of adults supported free personal care for everyone who needs it. More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of respondents said they are willing to pay more tax to provide free personal care for all. Mechanisms include: a small increase in income tax (27 per cent), a small increase in National Insurance (25 per cent), a new small tax for people aged between 40 and retirement age (11 per cent) or paying a lump sum on retirement (6 per cent).  

A new report from the charity, A Taxing Question: How to pay for free personal care, looks at various funding options for social care.

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