Changes made by the government to social care cap

Image source, PA Media

Updated government plans state that the financial aid provided to poorer citizens to help pay their medical bills will not contribute to a cap on future costs.

It was announced in September that from 2023 no-one in England would pay more than £86,000 for care.

The plan was modified and published. This could result in the poorest people being forced to spend more on their assets than the better-off.

Liz Kendall, shadow minister of government Liz Kendall called it a con and total disgrace.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said that the reforms will make everyone better off than the existing system.

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This year’s government announcement was a long-awaited one for social care. A new tax will be used to pay the costs. One of its main propositions is the cap.

It said no-one would be forced to pay more than £86,000 across their lifetime for the care they needed for daily tasks such as washing, dressing and eating.

However, living expenses in care homes – including food and energy bills – are not included towards the cap.

The new plan also said people with assets lower than £100,000 would be able to get more financial help towards their care costs.

The change will mean that any help received would not be counted towards the cap. Only the money paid to the person would go towards the cap.

This could see those with less than £100,000 in assets paying a larger proportion of what they have than someone with bigger savings who would hit the cap sooner.

‘Little protection’

Torsten Bell (chief executive at the Resolution Foundation) criticized the decision, saying that “What seems like a technical modification will in fact make a significant difference in how much care is paid for by families.”

“The risk is that the cap for care costs won’t offer much protection to assets from poorer households and will do much more for people with substantial assets, particularly in the south.

Sally Warren is the director of policy for charity The Kings Fund. She also calls the change “disappointing”.

According to her, those who have low or moderate wealth will be most affected. She added: “They might wonder why prime minister’s promise to no one need to sell their home to pay care for it will benefit the wealthier but does not seem to apply to them.”

Liz Kendall, Labour’s shadow social service minister raised the topic in the Commons. She released a statement that said: “This little print, sneaked into today’s Tory cloud, shows Boris Johnson’s cap on care cost is an even bigger con than what we initially thought.

“It is now clear that even the most vulnerable pensioners will need to pay more.

“The Tory government is failing to show respect for the people who gave so much to our country. It’s a complete disgrace and utterly surprising.” Our elderly people deserve better.”


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