Rules changed on social care cap in updated plans

Updated government plans show that the financial help poorer people get to cover their care will not count towards a new cap on costs.

In September it was announced that from 2023 no-one in England would pay more than £86,000 for care. However, a tweak to the plan has now been published, which critics say could see the poorest having to use more of their assets than better off people.

The Department of Health and Social Care maintains that the reforms would mean ‘everyone is better off’ compared with the current system, but Liz Kendall, Shadow Minister for Social Care, labelled the move a ‘con’ and a ‘total disgrace’.

When the government announced its long-awaited plan for social care it included a new tax to cover the cost, with one of the main proposals being the new cap. At the time ministers said that 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 costs in a care home - such as food, energy bills and accommodation - would not count 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 new change would mean that help would not count towards their cap, with only the amount someone pays themselves going towards it. 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.

Kendall said: "This small print, sneaked out today under a cloud of Tory sleaze, shows Boris Johnson's so-called cap on care costs is an even bigger con than we initially thought. It has now been revealed that the poorest pensioners will have to pay even more.

"This Tory government has failed to be straight with those who've given so much to our country is a total disgrace, but utterly unsurprising. Our elderly people deserve better."

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