Health organisations and charities have immediately responded to the White paper on Care and Support announcement.
The Kings Fund has said the new White Paper on Care and Support does not tackle the financial vacuum at the heart of the sector.
The White Paper, ‘Caring for our future: reforming care and support’ and the draft Care and Support Bill "set out how the social care system will be transformed from a service that reacts to crises to one that focuses on prevention and is built around the needs and goals of people", according to the Department for Health.
However, charities and health think thanks have complained that the White Paper "kicks into the long grass" decisions about the long term funding of social care.
"Despite its commitment in the ‘programme for government’ to the urgency of reform, the government has failed to produce a clear plan for how care should be funded or a timetable for how these decisions will be considered," said Richard Humphries from the Kings Fund.
"Nor has it acknowledged the growing pressures on the current system, maintaining instead that local authorities have sufficient funding to meet current needs. This flies in the face of evidence that care spending is falling while the numbers of people needing care is rocketing.
"There is a financial vacuum at the heart of these proposals which undermines the bold and ambitious vision for a reformed system set out in the White Paper.
"It is now unlikely that action to reform care funding will be taken this side of the next general election."
Sue Brown, Head of Public Policy at deafblind charity Sense, said she is “hugely disappointed” at today’s announcement.
She said the Government has postponed long term funding decisions for another 18 months, deepening Britain’s social care crisis.
“Deafblind people tell Sense that without social care they are imprisoned in their own homes because they need support to do the basic things that most people take for granted – going to the shops, opening a letter, going to the doctors," she said.
"It’s simply unthinkable that human beings can continue to be abandoned in this way.
“Without a commitment to funding, today’s announcements become empty words."
Mark Lever, Chief Executive of The National Autistic Society, said:
“Social care is one of the biggest challenges facing the country and this is no time to dawdle and play politics with the lives of so many vulnerable people.
“We need to know how social care will be paid for in the future and be reassured that there will be adequate support for people with autism and their families.
“These are challenging economic times but kicking the issue into the long grass will solve nothing and delays could result in people with autism developing more complex needs – consequently costing the state more in the long-term.
“There needs to be a timely and workable solution to this issue within this Parliament – the lives and welfare of thousands of people up and down the country depend on it.”
Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of disability charity Scope, said that the government has produced a “holding statement” rather than decisive action.
“One third of people who rely on social care support are disabled adults. They rely on it for help really basic day-to-day tasks such as washing, dressing and getting out of the house.
“The national standard announced today is a vital first step. But crucially the Minister hasn’t said how it will work.
“Until they confirm where the bar will be set and how it will be funded, disabled people will still be anxiously asking will I get support or not?
“Reading between the lines, we are worried that the government is planning to set the bar too high.”
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General of Age UK, said that the delay in a funding decision "will undoubtedly have a devastating impact on those currently in need of care support today".
"There are already nearly 800,000 older people struggling to cope alone and that number is set to rise to one million by 2015," she said.
"Many older people rely on social care to live with dignity and respect, and it is unfair to expect them to wait. Care reform and funding reform must go hand in hand and cross party political consensus must be achieved.”
Ms Mitchell said the government must "face up to" resolving funding.
"More than a year on from the publication of the Dilnot Commission’s report, we are left asking just how strong the Government’s commitment is to implementing his two key recommendations: to raise the means-test threshold and to set a cap on costs.
“In the end, adequate funding will make or break the government’s proposals, so we will be watching closely to make sure social care remains firmly on the Government’s agenda and is not marginalised during a comprehensive spending review that everyone expects to be tight."
David Thomson, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the Chartered Insurance Institute said:
“The government’s announcement that they intend, in principle, to implement reforms to long-term care funding following the Dilnot Report last year is a positive step. Capping the catastrophic costs of care will increase the ability of individuals to plan for the future. It will also remove the current disincentive to save which is such a damaging function of our means tested system.
We are concerned that the issue of funding remains unresolved. This is not surprising given the current economic climate. However, a lasting settlement on long-term care funding reform will need to have a price tag."
Jaime Gill, the head of press and public affairs at United Responseargued that 'this absence of any substantial new funding cannot be ignored'
"The new plans lay down in principle some essential foundations for a fairer, more durable social care system, but without more resources that system cannot be built. The minimum level of care announced today by Lansley sounds excellent in principle but will only work if it is set at the right level (not excluding people with more moderate disabilities, as many predict) and is adequately funded."