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Social care plans expose rich vs poor divide in terms of home loss

24 November 2021

The Prime Minister has narrowly won a vote on the cap for social care costs, which will mean that many poorer people will continue to need to sell their homes to cover the costs of care.

Senior Conservatives were urging the Prime Minister to reverse plans that would result in poorer people not benefiting from the social care cap, and in many cases having to sell their homes – something the Prime Minister had previously said would not happen.  

The Guardian reported that Care Minister Gillian Keegan was “monstered” by backbenchers complaining that the plans were unfair and had not been fully explained or thought through. The Guardian said that former Tory chief whip Mark Harper challenged Keegan to produce more detailed analysis of the plans – which neither she nor two civil servants present were able to do. Harper then said it would not be good enough for her to produce details on the day of the vote, which was held on 22 November.

Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt who chairs the Health Select Committee, said it was “deeply disappointing” that plans were “not as progressive” as those proposed by economist Andrew Dilnot, who drew up the original plans for a cap on individual contributions.

Current plans mean that while someone who owns a £1 million house would be able to protect more than 90% of their asset, someone with a home valued at £70,000 in a poorer part of the country would lose almost everything.