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Care funding puzzle – the complexity of social finance

2014 Conference Presentation

Funding/purchasing EUPoland

1 September 2014

Care funding puzzle – the complexity of social finance

Natalia Marska-Dzioba, University of Szczecin, Poland


Because of its complexity, the problem of payment for the care delivered to old or/and disabled persons, is rather difficult and not very popular. Simultaneously, it creates the significant element of the state’s social policy, sometimes being shaped in the previous political regime (in case of CEE countries). The basic limitation for the universal model of public finance is the obligation to include the conditions imposed by the financial environment. One, that can be listed, is the constitutional guarantee of the special rights of social protection given to the dependent persons. The welfare became the theatre of public finance, public business and the third sector overlap. The interactions, rules and solutions shape the new area of “social finance”.

The increasing importance of social rights and services along dramatic limitations induced by financial crisis calls for the new, both theoretical and practical, model of welfare and LTC funding. Dependency and need of LTC is still one of the main factors of poverty. Moreover, it affects not only directly a dependent person, but indirectly this person’s friends and family, who (in many countries) are legally expected to deliver the care. Families, often parents or spouses, often have to give up their professional activity and become fully dependent on the system of public care services. Along the change of economic regime, we can observe the strengthening of the care recognized as a commodity. This care, no matter the source of funding (public or private) has to be bought on the market.

This presentation introduces the initial effects of the research grant focused on the model of care funding, especially in the situation of social structures evolution and resources limitation. This project will finalize the few-year studies on the theory of the costs of disability, which systematize the expenses on disability policy and called for transparency and concentration. The presentation covers with two fundamental questions: what are relations (legal, economic) between public and private way of welfare funding and what instruments (taxes, contributions, other) suit better to the flexible economic/political environment and expected future costs. It also refers to the discussion over the vital issue how to spread the priority status between financial effectiveness or efficiency and social utility, between the public responsibility and private needs. To answer that the comparative analysis, some basic statistic methods and case studies with CBA and CBE methods are used. The presentation focuses on the example of Poland, where the crucial reforms are on-going, against the background of selected European examples of funding solutions.

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