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GOVERNMENT TO PAY CARE HOME BILLS FOR ELDERLY

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Middle-class families hoping to inherit the home of a grandparent or elderly relative are to be thrown a lifeline b...
Middle-class families hoping to inherit the home of a grandparent or elderly relative are to be thrown a lifeline by the government which plans to pay for the nursing of pensioners who live in care homes, reported The Sunday Times (p1).

At present, 40,000 pensioners a year sell their houses in order to meet care bills. Government rules prevent prevent pensioners with£16,000 or more in property or savings from claiming state help, meaning those who hoped to pass on wealth to their children lose.

A royal commission recommended last year that the government should pay for the nursing care of any pensioner regardless of means, despite the estimated£1.2bn annual cost to government. Ministers distanced themselves from the commission's findings at the time.

In private, however, they admitted it was unfair that ill pensioners got free in-patient treatment in hospitals, while others in a similar condition were cared for in nursing homes and had to pay.
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