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Means-testing winter fuel payment 'could cover care fees cap'

Means-testing winter fuel payment 'could cover care fees cap'
3rd January 2013

A Liberal Democrat MP has called on the government to introduce means-testing of the winter fuel payment to pay for the cap on care fees proposed by the Dilnot Commission.

In conjunction with the Centre Forum think-tank, Paul Burstow has produced a report in which he suggests the government could save £1.5 billion per year by only awarding the winter fuel payment to people who receive pension credit. Currently, the payment is made to everyone over the age of 61.

The Dilnot Commission was set up by the government to investigate social care fees and, led by Andrew Dilnot, proposed a £35,000 limit on the contribution of any person towards their care. 

It is estimated this would cost the government £1.7 billion per year. Mr Burstow's report also recommends putting an end to relief on capital gains tax at death. It says this would raise an additional £600 million and a combination of this and the means-testing of the winter fuel payment would cover the cost of the proposed cap.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Burstow said: "Social care isn't free, but it could be a lot fairer for those who have worked hard all their lives."

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