Boris Johnson risks further anger over social care reforms as he appears to step back from manifesto commitment
By SEAMLESS DAILY
23 November 2021
They believe it breaks his 2019 election pledge that no one should be forced to sell their home to fund their care bills.
speaking to sky news on monday, a minister failed to guarantee that people will not have to sell their homes in order to pay for care.
Having promised to "fix the crisis in social care" on the steps of Downing Street when he became PM, Mr Johnson in September announced a cap on care costs for adults in England from October 2023, promising a limit of £86,000 on how much an individual has to pay over their lifetime.
Last week, the government announced it was introducing an amendment to the reforms which will mean that only the amount a person personally contributes to their care costs will count towards the £86,000 cap.
The change has sparked accusations it will be unfair on poorer people and those who live in areas where homes are worth less.
The health secretary reiterated the government's defence of its reforms, stating that the existing system "exposes too many people to unlimited costs" and the changes will "put an end to unpredictable costs".
The new social care system, which will be funded by a health and care levy added to national insurance contributions, will create what Sir Andrew calls a "national risk pool for social care" for the first time.
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson suffered another Tory rebellion in the Commons on Tuesday.
The bill later cleared the Commons- being given a third reading by 294 votes to 244, a majority of 50- but this sets the stage for a battle with the Lords as peers scrutinise the legislation.
Both Baroness Altmann and Tory former health secretary Andrew Lansley are understood to be considering amendments which could force MPs to reconsider the last-minute change announced last week, under which local authority contributions will not be included towards the proposed £86,000 lifetime maximum for spending on care.
The government is wrong.
I would expect the Lords to do what they do well, which is to scrutinise every line of the bill and debate what needs to be debated to improve it."
So it ’ s normal for the government to be defeated.
The point is to protect the minority of people who need long-term social care, due to dementia or other illness, from the financial catastrophe of losing all their assets.
Jeremy Hunt, the chair of the health select committee, called this "a really big disappointment" – but said that Tory MPs should vote for it anyway.
All those with assets worth less than £186,000 will be worse off as a result of last week ’ s adjustments, and 60 % of people who end up needing adult social care are in this group.
While a person in a £1m house will see 90 % of their housing asset protected under the new scheme, owners of homes worth £100,000 stand to lose most of it.
Labour's Jonathan Ashworth has branded this differential impact "daylight robbery".
Boris Johnson talks of levelling up the north and shrinking the wealth gap between the English regions.
But by its actions over the past week, his government has shown, once again, that its friends in the south come first.
The government survived a vote in the Commons, with MPs approving a change to the 2014 legislation bringing in the cap.
However, with the vote passing via a majority of 26, this is unlikely to be the end of the matter.
The House of Lords might well decide to block the move, sending the issue back to the Commons, which could embolden more rebel Tories to vote against it next time.
It appears that Johnson's original ambitions were diluted by the Treasury to save about £750m.
Inevitably, the plan has gone down badly among the new generation of Tory MPs representing red wall seats, who were already furious with Johnson over his handling of the Owen Paterson issue.
Former cabinet ministers representing seats in the south, such as Damian Green and Robert Buckland, also have grave reservations.
The prime minister does not like performing U-turns any more than he likes saying sorry.
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