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.
In designing these reforms, the priority has been the creating a more generous means-testing system, which benefits those with low to moderate wealth. 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. Fewer people will be unable to pay for social care without selling their home under the reforms to the social care charging system compared to the existing system. These reforms will complement the existing system which ensures that 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.
However, I note the concerns raised about this clarification and welcome the opportunities to discuss this matter further as the Health and Care Bill makes its way through Parliament. While I will of course listen carefully to points raised in the upcoming debate, I personally support the reforms that the Government is making to social care charging and as such do not support the House of Lords amendment which removes the clause on the cap from the Health and Care Bill.