A couple of months ago to much fanfare the government announced its plans to limit personal spending on social care and put more funds into the NHS. This would all be paid for by an increase in national insurance for those in work of 1.25%. No one would have to sell their home to pay for social care was the promise.
Last week amongst all the media focus on sleaze, second jobs etc etc the government slipped out an announcement that it was going back on some of the details of that earlier announcement
When the government announced that an £86,000 cap on care costs would be put in place from October 2023 it also said that people with assets of up to £20,000 would not have to contribute anything to their care, while those with assets of up to £100,000 would be eligible to receive some local authority support. The newly released policy states that if people receive financial support for part of their care, only the share they contribute themselves will count towards the £86,000 cap.
For a party that makes a lot of its policy of levelling up this apparent technical change will have a significant impact on communities particularly in the North where houses may sell for little more than the cap. In the South where houses are much more expensive those with the biggest assets will pay proportionately much less
Today Parliament votes on the proposals. It will be interesting to see if red wall Tories vote to disadvantage their new constituents or whether another puncture is made in the "levelling up balloon"
Daisy Cooper, the Lib Dems' health and social care spokesperson, said: "These social care plans are two broken promises in one. Boris Johnson promised in his manifesto not to raise national insurance tax and that no one would have to sell their home to pay for care.
"Now struggling families face being hammered by unfair tax rises, while still facing losing their homes to fund care costs."