The Independent Care Group (ICG) has described the rebellion vote in the Commons last night on the new social care cost cap as a wake-up call.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “The strength of feeling against the proposals should demonstrate to the Government that they haven’t got social care done.
“Just because something is marginally better to what we have now, doesn’t solve the crisis.”
In September, the government announced that from October 2023 the most anyone will have to pay for personal care will be £86,000 – but that both the financial help people get from local authorities to cover their care and their living costs would be excluded from the cap.
The Health and Care Bill was debated on the House of Commons last night and passed by a majority of just 26 votes.
Commenting Sally Warren, director of policy at The King’s Fund, said:
“The change to the social care cap is a regressive step that will leave people with low levels of wealth still exposed to very high care costs. This change was sprung upon MPs with very little notice and with no impact assessment made available.”
Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at financial advisor Hargreaves Lansdown, added:
“As it currently stands, this amendment comes as a huge blow to anyone with lower levels of assets, especially people in the North, where in many places house prices tend to be lower. Those in care and their families still need to battle hugely unpredictable costs on an ongoing basis.”
The Health and Care Bill will now pass to the House of Lords for peers to consider the implications of the vote.
The ICG wants to see:
- A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded
- NHS care and social care to be merged and managed either locally or nationally
- Extra funding for social care, funded by taxation
- Dementia treated like other high priority illnesses, like cancer and heart disease
- A fixed percentage of GDP to be spent on social care
- Social care businesses to be zero-rated for VAT.