HL Deb 07 March 2000 vol 610 cc132-4WA
Lord Lipsey

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have sought or received views on the regulation of long-term care insurance from:

  1. (a) the insurance industry;
  2. (b) the Personal Investment Authority;
  3. (c) the Financial Services Authority;
  4. (d) organisations representing elderly people; and
  5. (e) the Consumers Association;
and, if so, what they were; and [HL1214]

Further to the statement by Lord McIntosh of Haringey on 21 February about the Treasury's committee on long-term care costs (H.L. Deb., col. 90):

  1. (a) what are the committee's terms of reference;
  2. (b) who are its members;
  3. (c) which, if any, of its members represent elderly people and which represent consumers;
  4. (d) how many times it has met; and
  5. (e) when it is expected to report. [HL1215]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

The Government received views on regulation of long-term care insurance through the report of the Royal Commission on Long Term Care for the Elderly. The Secretary of State for Health announced in another place that the Government would explore with the financial services industry how it could best design financial products to pay for long-term care to see if they could be made more attractive to a wider audience.

The committee includes members from the Treasury, Department of Health, Inland Revenue, No. 10 and the Financial Services Authority (FSA), as well as academics and representatives of consumers, the elderly and the industry.

The terms of reference are:

  • "The Committee is invited to follow up the statement of 2 December by Alan Milburn, Secretary of State for Health, in which he said:
  • 'we intend to explore with the financial services industry how it could best design long-term care insurance products, and other financial products, to see if they could be made more attractive to a wider audience.'
  • The Committee should seek to define financial services products which offer reliable, efficient and effective means of saving to pay for long-term care costs. The products may be any kind of retail financial services vehicle, including immediate needs facilities.

In developing product design criteria, the Committee is asked to consider:

  • —cost
  • —reliability
  • —ease of understanding
  • WA 134
  • —competition
  • —the trade-off between simplicity and one-stop shopping
  • —the claiming process.

The Committee is also asked to recommend how providers could be encouraged to market acceptably designed products, e.g. through:

  • —disclosure
  • —benchmark(s)
  • —minimum standards (e.g. kitemark)
  • —code(s) of conduct
  • —invitation to tender.

The Committee should aim to report by early summer.

When the Committee reports, the Treasury will then consider whether marketing of long-term care savings products should be regulated under the Financial Services and Markets Bill, currently before Parliament. Separate public consultation on this point would be required."

The Committee has so far met once.