Last reviewed 4 June 2019

A report by the think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), has said free social care for over-65s in England would save NHS £4.5 billion each year as well halve the number of people facing “catastrophic” social care costs.

The report also suggested that a 2% rise in income tax or a 1.3% rise in national insurance would pay for free personal care for this age group in England.

The IPPR has urged the Government to fully fund free personal care, which it predicts would reduce the number of people facing “catastrophic” care costs of over £100,000 a year from 140,000 to 80,000, and would also increase the number of people receiving state-funded care from 185,000 to 440,000.

The report states that spending on adult social care for the over-65s would increase in England from £17 billion a year to £36 billion in 2030.

People over the age of 65 in Scotland have been receiving free personal care since 2002. Studies there have revealed that more people can live in their own homes for longer, rather than have to move into a care home, and less people are kept in hospital waiting for appropriate care arrangements.

A YouGov poll conducted for the charity Independent Age has also revealed that 74% of people in England support free personal care for everyone who needs it and 69% are willing are to pay more tax to get free personal care for all.

Independent Age has launched a “Let’s Get Personal” campaign calling on the Government to introduce free personal care in England, and the public are being encouraged to contact their local MPs to ask them to sign Independent Age’s “Free Personal Care” pledge.

The report, “Social Care — Free at the Point of Need”, is available at