Seminar of interest: ‘Using the owned home to fund social care’, 19 March 2014, Southampton

In 2014 on March 18, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Tomorrow, Dr Emma Laurie and Professor Nick Hopkins (formerly Soton, now at Reading), will be giving a Law School staff seminar on ‘Using the owned home to fund social care: assessing the legitimacy of the Care Bill through the social contract’ at 1pm in rm 2055, building 4, Highfield campus.

AbstractThe funding of adult social care is undergoing reform through the Care Bill with the overriding objective of achieving “fairness”; in particular by ensuring that the home does not have to be sold during the lifetime of the owner to fund the cost of care and to limit the extent to which wealth accumulated in the home is used for that purpose. Increasingly, the responsibility to fund certain aspects of welfare has shifted to the individual and is linked to releasing the financial value in the owner-occupied home. There is a growing body of literature concerned with this phenomenon of asset-based welfare. We assess the extent to which it is legitimate for the government to require owner-occupiers to draw on the equity in their home to fund social care. We locate this enquiry within the framework of social citizenship and, specifically, the new social contract. We identify that the Care Bill raises issues of concern for intergenerational justice and has the potential to imbalance the social contract. Nevertheless, the consistent way in which the ideology of home ownership has been promoted justifies treating the home more favourably than other assets – at least for the current generation. We argue, however, that incremental change would protect current legitimate expectations of home owners but would enable the intergenerational imbalance to be corrected over time.

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