The Government has rejected amendments to the Health and Care Bill from the Lords, supported by many health and social care organisations, to count means-tested local authority contributions towards people’s care costs when calculating the £86,000 cap. This disproportionately impacts people with fewer assets in paying for their care. The House of Lords previously voted against the Government’s proposals, but these have now been pushed through meaning that means-tested local authority contributions will not count towards the cap. Alzheimer’s Society previously supported an amendment to the Bill, tabled by Baroness Wheeler, Baroness Brinton, Lord Lansley and Lord Warner, which would have helped a greater number of people affected by dementia, the largest users of social care, with fewer assets reach the cap on care costs across England.
James White, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society said:
“The cap on care costs is a step in the right direction, but Government has squandered a huge opportunity to protect the poorest from paying catastrophic fees for their care. The devil is in the detail as the least-wealthy will be left behind, and just one in five people living with dementia will reach the cap.
“Despite support from a wide range of health and social care organisations, and people affected by dementia, MPs have repeatedly voted to push through the Government’s proposals for the cap and remove vital safeguards from the Care Act through the Health and Care Bill that were designed to protect people from crippling care costs.
“People affected by dementia are the largest users of social care, but their needs are still going unmet. As the Government moves forward with its plans for social care reform, it is vital that those living with dementia are not left behind.”