Analysts at the Health Foundation have today urged leaders in Yorkshire, the Midlands and the North East to vote down the government’s social care cap amendment to the Health and Care Bill which is scheduled to be heard on Monday
Image: Getty Images)
TWO leading healthcare charities have warned MPs in the north to protect their constituents from a parliamentary bill which would see the poorest in their communities crippled by care costs.
Analysts at the Health Foundation and the Kings Fund have today urged leaders in Yorkshire, the Midlands and the North East to vote down the government’s social care cap amendment to the Health and Care Bill which is scheduled to be heard on Monday.
The change means those living in the so-called ‘Red Wall’ Conservative constituencies – which were historically held by Labor and where average wealth tends to be lower – would see the biggest erosion of their protection against high care costs.
While last year the government proposed a cap of £86,000 on the lifetime care costs that Brits face, an amendment to the 2014 Care Act would mean that for those struggling financially the local authority support they receive to help pay for care would no longer count towards the chap.
At the point at which care then became unaffordable, those in desperate need would be forced to sell their homes to cover the bill.
Charles Tallack, Director of Data Analytics at the Health Foundation, said: “The government’s amendment represents a significant watering down of the pledge to protect people from catastrophic care costs.
“At a time when the country is facing the biggest hit to household finances since the 1950s, the government should be looking to increase financial protection for poorer households.
“Yet this measure will disproportionately affect people with lower wealth and in poorer areas of the country. This is not leveling up: it’s unfair and a backwards step.”
Sally Warren, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, added: “The government’s change to the cap on social care costs is expected to save the Treasury money, but that saving comes at the expense of poorer people with lower levels of wealth and assets.
“Many of those people will be wondering why the Prime Minister’s pledge that no one will have to sell their home to pay for their care no longer applies to them, whilst wealthier people are still protected from catastrophic care costs.”
The study found that over a 10-year period, this would mean people in the North East would spend an extra 6% of their assets on care – equivalent to an average increase in contribution of £5,700.
In Yorkshire and Humber people would spend an extra 5% of their assets, equivalent to £5,300.
These increases compare to just 2% in the South East and 1% in London, equivalent to £3,800 and £2,800 respectively.