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News Release

The Ghost of Christmas Future- how can the government ensure a sustainable social care system?

Phil Hall, Chairman of JLL’s Healthcare team responds to rumours that the government may allow local authorities to increase Council Tax to fund social care


12th December 2016 - After finding the coffers empty in the Autumn Statement, the Government is rumoured to be considering allowing local authorities to increase Council Tax in order to provide more money for social care. This modest move, whilst welcome, is not going to prove sufficient to redress the Scrooge like cuts to social care inflicted over recent years. A more radical vision of the future for social care is needed in order to avoid the fearsome Ghost of Christmas Future depicted in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

It is time we recognised that there is simply not going to be enough public money to satisfy all the demands made on social care funds. Endless Government reports and commissions over the last twenty years have sought to avoid this conclusion and have come to nought.

Our research shows that almost 80% of the over 65 population will be classified as being within mid and high end affluence by 2025, largely from rising levels of housing equity. Those who can afford to fund their care from housing wealth should be encouraged and rewarded to do so. This may not be politically popular but the alternative Ghost of Christmas Future will be far worse.