Six in 10 elderly care users in England set to lose out from change to costs cap

Posted: November 21st 2021


With a skewed demography in rural England, meaning a higher proportion of people in elderly care settings this reads like potential bad news for those of the most modest means. The story tells us:

The key architect of the government’s social care reform has said most older people needing care will lose out from plans to dilute protections against crippling costs in England, as Conservatives blamed Rishi Sunak for forcing the changes.

Sir Andrew Dilnot, an economist who devised reforms to prevent people losing homes to soaring care costs, told MPs on Thursday that he was very disappointed by a change to the way the cap on care costs was expected to work that would leave anyone with assets of less than £186,000 – about 60% of older people needing care – less well-off than expected.

On Wednesday the care minister, Gillian Keegan, announced that state-funded care costs would not go towards the new £86,000 cap – announced by Boris Johnson in September – on the amount anyone in England would pay for social care.

It will save the government hundreds of millions of pounds but leave many poorer homeowners exposed to “catastrophic costs” including the need to sell their homes to cover long-term care, analysts have said.

Whitehall sources confirmed that budget constraints imposed by the Treasury were behind the shift, saying, “cost is absolutely a factor”.

One senior former minister said the move was “absolutely Treasury driven”, and said Sunak was fixated on “trying to do the finances first and then work out what you need to do to actually solve the problem which – in this case – they haven’t addressed yet at all.”