The over-40s and rich pensioners should pay extra to help meet the cost of social care, according to a cross-party group of MPs.
A joint report from the Housing, Communities and Local Government and Health and Social Care Committees says the “social care premium” would help address the problem of an “unsustainable” system.
It says the money raised would be held in a dedicated and audited fund to reassure the public it would only be used to provide social care.
Payments would start at the age of 40 and extend beyond 65, but a minimum earnings threshold should be considered to protect those on low incomes.
However pensions and investments would be included in the calculation of contributions.
It also called for an additional inheritance tax for estates above a certain value.
The report says: “We heard strong support for the principle of earmarking contributions – it was felt that establishing a visible fund that is clearly, transparently and accountably linked to spending on social care is key to gaining public acceptance for this measure.”
The money would be used to ensure the personal element of social care – such as washing, dressing and eating – is eventually available free at the point of delivery to everyone who needs it, although accommodation costs would continue to be means-tested.
Clive Betts, the chair of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, said: “The social care system is in a critical condition and there is an urgent need for more funding both now and in the future to ensure people
are properly looked after.
“Given the huge funding gulf, the Government should now take the opportunity to build both a political and public consensus around the need for a new social care premium to secure a fair and sustainable system in the long-term.