People have no idea how much they pay for care

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THE Chartered Insurance Institute’s recent discovery that four in five people have no idea of how much they will have to pay for care, while half think long-term care is free is indeed worrying.

Their call for the government to merely raise awareness of the reality of social care, however, disregards the immediate challenges of wider economic climate that the public is contending with. We are faced with falling salaries - and in many cases redundancy - rising inflation and the soaring price of food and fuel. How can people to save for their retirement, when feeding the family tonight is too much of a stretch?

It isn’t just ‘vulnerable’ or ‘low income’ households who are struggling. Families who never, ever expected to face financial difficulty have tightened the purse strings. People who were once able to save are now finding that the money they had put aside is being eroded as the financial crisis wipes out years worth of savings within days as markets tumble as a result of global uncertainty.

Whilst it is important for financial institutions to raise this issue, they must also come up with real support and solutions rather than simply making headline-grabbing statements about the uncertain future. Better financial support for people struggling with mortgages and debt is crucial. Perhaps when this is offered, people will begin to have some leeway to think of the future rather than living hand to mouth.

Rob Tolan

Head of Policy and Research

Elizabeth Finn Care

Shepherds Bush Road

London.