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Sir Andrew Dilnot criticises ‘disappointing’ changes to social care cap rules

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Sir Andrew Dilnot has expressed disappointment over changes to social care reform proposals that will mean poorer people won’t benefit from a cap on costs.

Speaking to the Treasury committee on Thursday (November 18), the economist who led a cross-party commission on Funding for Care and Support in 2011, said that those with fewer assets and facing significant care journeys will end up paying the same amount for their care as those who are well-off.

In September, the prime minister announced that £2.5bn raised from the new health and social care levy will be used to pay for the “Dilnot proposals” to implement a £86,000 cap on the amount anyone in England would pay for social care.

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He also said that those with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 will be eligible for some means testing support.

The cap was expected to include all care costs, including means-tested funding, but on Wednesday (November 17) the Department of Health and Social Care published a tweak to the plan, stating that only private contributions will go towards it.

Sir Andrew told the committee: “The change that the government proposes, about which I am very disappointed, is that the metering towards the cap would be of accumulated need minus any means-tested support that the government delivers.

“And that means that people who are less well-off would hit the cap significantly later in time and having spent exactly the same amount of money as their better-off peers.”

Sir Andrew said the people who are most harshly effected by this change will be people with assets of exactly £106,000 – that is the £86,000 of cap, plus £20,000 that’s protected by the means-tested system.

He added: “But everybody with assets of less than £186,000 would do less well under what the government is proposing than the proposals that we made and the proposals that were legislated for. That was a big change announced. It finds savings exclusively from the less well-off group.”

Return to HCI for an article on how the Dilnot proposals compare to the government’s current plans for reform.

Tags : cap on care costsSir Andrew Dilnotsocial care reform
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke