BORIS Johnson’s levelling up agenda will be hammered by his new social care plans, which will whack Northerners and the poor, the original architect of the plan blasted.
Raging Andrew Dilnot told MPs the PM’s plans would make the North-South divide worse and would hit his mission to slash inequality in Britain.
Boris Johnson defended his social care plans today[/caption]
But the PM hit back – saying it was a “massive improvement for everybody” and it would stop people from seeing their savings “eaten up”
Ministers yesterday finally slipped out long-delayed plans to fix the social care crisis and bring in a new £86,000 cap on costs.
But the small print revealed that only “the amount that the individual contributes towards these costs will count towards the cap on care costs”.
And lower paid people in the North will be hardest hit as their house prices are lower than wealthy southerners in leafy green areas.
Mr Dilnot argued “the less well off will not gain any benefit from the cap” and could have to hand over their home to pay for crippling social care fees, breaking the PM’s long-held promise.
He told MPs earlier: “On the whole this will hit less well off people, in regions of the country with lower house prices.
“There is a north south axis to this – people living in Northern and other less high house price areas are likely to be hit harder on this than those who are better off.”
What are Boris Johnson's plans for social care?
- There will be a new £86,000 cap on care costs, meaning Brits won’t have to pay more than that and sell their homes
- Anyone with assets less than £100,000 would receive government help, and those with less than £20,000 will pay nothing
- But they will have to cough up up to £200 a week for rent and food on top of that, which could run down their savings
- Cash already paid into the care system won’t count though, and the total will only start from October 2023
- And any cash paid by the council won’t count towards the total either, meaning people face paying in for longer
- The cap will also apply to working age Brits who need care too, rather than a proposal by Sir Andrew Dilnot which would have taken them into a different system where they only start paying age 45
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Brits will have to be sicker for far longer before they hit the cap – hurting those suffering long-term health conditions like dementia and severe arthritis who deteriorate slower than those with cancer.
The new system will also hit disabled working age Brits, making it far “more harsh” for the half of Brits who need care well before they hit retirement.
Mr Dilnot, who came forward with his original plans to fix social care nearly a decade ago, said he was “very disappointed” in parts of the new plan which “doesn’t leave [some] any better off at the end.”
But the PM insisted his landmark reforms were “stopping people having to pay unlimited quantities for their care”
He told reporters on a visit: “We’re… restricting the amount that you can possibly pay to a fixed limit, when the state comes in and helps you – that’s never been done before.
“This is a government that is levelling up across the whole country with the biggest investment in railway infrastructure for a century, and fixing a problem that has bedevilled governments for decades and addressing health and social care.”
Liz Kendall MP, Labour’s Shadow Social Care Minister, blasted the so-called cap as “a complete con”.
She raged: “Ordinary working people are facing a tax hike that will do nothing to improve care now, and instead of protecting their parents’ homes, will only protect the homes of the wealthiest in our society.”
And Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, added: “The reforms were meant to change that situation, but people still won’t know what the care will cost them.”