Earlier this week we covered the government proposals for social care which had seen late changes made to the scheme such that for poorer people with homes the promise that no-one would have to sell their homes to pay for care was very much in doubt ( see http://southsuffolklibdems.org.uk/en/article/2021/1419754/big-decision-on-social-care )
We questioned how this plan actually contributed to levelling up, supposedly a government priority, when as a consequence, adults with assets worth up to £106,000 will gain little compared to the current system and significantly less than under the scheme initially announced by Mr Johnson in September. Meanwhile, those with assets of £186,000 or more will be able to pass the bulk of their property on to their children after their death. Hardest hit are areas of the north and Midlands where house prices are lower than in the affluent south.
There was a lot of media coverage of Tory disquiet and threats to vote against the proposals which many see as unfair
Well, in the Commons on Monday night, the government narrowly won the vote with 18 Tory MPs voting against the government ( Including an ex Chief Whip)whilst 68 were absent (including ex health secretary Jeremy Hunt only 13 of whom were given official permission to be absent - suggesting dozens of MPs intentionally abstained. Needless to say our local MP voted with the Government unlike Suffolk Tories Dr Dan Poulter ( Central Suffolk and North Ipswich) and Waveney Peter Aldous who opposed the proposal.
Whilst there is a lot of recognition that the proposals are a step forward from current arrangements opposition across all parties to what is seen as a regressive policy that protects only those with significant wealth and the battle now moves to the House of Lords. As Ros Altmann, a Conservative pensions minister in David Cameron's government, said recently
'Oh my goodness, this is just about helping the very well off.' That's how it came across to me, protecting those who've got plenty of wealth, because they are the ones who would pay most while those average people, whether they're middle-class or working-class, or don't live in a reasonable-sized family home in more expensive areas of country, like London and the home countries, won't really end up benefiting much, if at all, from these measures.
Couldn't have said it better ourselves!!
Liberal Democrats will continue to vote against this specific proposal