House of Lords rejects care cap proposals for a second time
Posted on 12th April 2022
The proposal said that people will not have to pay more than £86,000 for care over their lifetime, regardless of their assets. It was intended to apply to care payments made after October 2023, so the first people could have reached the limit by autumn 2025.
What the care cap really means
People with less than £100,000 of assets would receive some funding for their care and people with less than £20,000 would be fully funded. Currently people pay for all their care until their assets are less than £23,250 and continue to pay for some of their care until their assets fall to £14,250.
The controversy is due to amendments to the care cap proposal which meant that the funding people received towards their care would not count towards the cap. Older people with modest savings and assets, including their home, could face financial hardship.
For example, someone with around £110,000 of assets might have to spend almost 80% on their care after the proposed cap is in place, while someone with £500,000 might use less than 20%, according to a study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Health Foundation.
This month the proposals have been rejected for a second time by the House of Lords in a vote on the Health and Care Bill. Provisions were also included for disabled people aged under 40. These were based on proposals in the 2011 Dilnot Commission report which first proposed the cap. The report said that people who acquired care needs before the age of 40 should have a zero cap throughout their lifetime.
The government says that making the existing means-tested system more generous will benefit everyone while the alternative approach would cost an extra £900million a year.
It also argues that it would be unfair if people contributing towards the cost of their care reached the cap at different times depending on how much funding they receive from their local authority.
In a statement following the latest vote, the Department of Health and Social Care said that the proposals provide a limit to the cost of care for everyone and strike the right balance between public contributions and people’s personal responsibility to plan for their care. It says the care cap will provide certainty and reassurance so people can plan for their future and pass on more of what they have saved to their loved ones.
The progress of the Health and Care Bill will continue while the two Houses of Parliament work towards a final version.
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