There are 2 big issues the sector needs to get a grip on in the social care and ageing debate….
Firstly, its clear that no political concensus on how to address or fund the looming social care crisis is a bad thing for the nation, older people and our sector. There is a clear divide between the compulsory payment view and the voluntary approach. Whilst there might be room for a middle view, these 2 positions are the primary battleground, and the absence of a concensus forces us into uncomfortable territory of choosing one approach. Why is this important? Because of the second issue.
There has always been a view among the public that your estate is yours and you would do anything to stop the state getting their hands on it. This vein feeds in to the nature of legacies in that they are a gift, and should be encouraged as such. A voluntary fee might not address the care problem, but a compulsory percentage might alienate the public. The reason these issues are linked for charities is that one or the other determines how we ask for money through gifts in wills.
We might need to consider a new gift proposition as we move forward, based on our own interpreration of how to pay for social care. Obviously, our approach should start from what’s best for the health, happiness and well being of our nation and we should always expect to operate in the giving realm but perhaps its time to consider creating a new expectation of value or share to charity as a new form of nudge? A new social norm alongside a new norm to fund our old age?
A faliure on our part to get ahead of this might mean that ironically we finally resolve the care issue but destroy a source of future income by rendering giving through gifts in wills as a thing of the past….