I am proud to support a Government that is committed to taking the difficult decisions and tackling the problems in the social care system head on. This historic plan for adult social care will protect individuals and families from unpredictable and potentially catastrophic care costs.
From October 2023, no eligible person starting adult social care will have to pay more than £86,000 for personal care over their lifetime. The reformed means test, which is the best way to help make care affordable, will increase the threshold above which people must meet the full cost of their care to £100,000. This is more than four times the current limit of £23,250, and the number of people receiving state support in the social care system will increase from around half to two thirds.
The new social care reforms are clear, fair and reduce complexity. Only the amount that an individual contributes towards their personal care will count towards the cap, and a much more generous means test will better support those with lower levels of assets. Nobody will have to sell their home to pay for their care in their lifetime. People are able to take out a Deferred Payment Agreement so that payments can be deducted from their estate after they die. And if someone or their spouse lives in their home, they will not be forced to sell it to pay for care.
I note the concerns raised about this clarification and welcomed the opportunity for the matter to be discussed in the House of Commons Chamber. A robust discussion was had and, as the Health and Care Bill completes its passage through Parliament, there will be other opportunities to scrutinise the Government’s plans.
Finally, I note the disappointment that an impact assessment was not published in advance of the vote on the Government's amendment. I believe it is important for MPs to be able to understand the impact of this particular aspect of the charging reforms. During the debate on the Health and Care Bill in the House of Commons Chamber, minister Ed Argar suggested this should be available before the legislation completes its passage through both Houses and so I look forward to seeing this assessment in due course.