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Portsmouth MP votes against government ‘con’ to fix social care crisis

Stephen Morgan MP has voted against the government’s ‘backward’ proposals to fix the social care crisis.

The government is proposing a £86,000 cap in personal care costs in its Health and Care Bill.

However, in new details published last week, government said support payments from councils will not count towards the cap, with charities warning the move would unfairly hit the poorest.

Labour’s Shadow Social Care Minister, Liz Kendall MP, also said that the £86,000 cap “would still mean many people will have to sell their homes to pay for their care – against everything Boris Johnson promised.”

Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation think tank, also pointed out the plan could “double your care costs” for someone who has about £90,000 in assets.

According to the Health Foundation, the government’s changes to the Bill “will no longer protect those with lower assets from catastrophic costs.”

The charity said that under “the current system people can lose all but £14,250 of their assets. For someone with £100k this represents 86% of their wealth. Under the Care Act, this would be reduced to 43%.  But under the Government’s proposals the maximum loss would be £80k – 80% of their assets”.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“This is a care con, not a care plan.

“We already knew most people won’t hit the cap because it doesn’t cover board and lodging in care homes, but now it has been revealed that the poorest pensioners will have to pay even more.

“Ministers have slipped out a significant change that means if you live in a £1m house, perhaps in the Home Counties, 90% of your assets will be protected.

“But if you need social care and live in an £90,000 in home in Hartlepool or even Portsmouth, your care costs could be doubled under new government proposals. That is not fair.

“That’s why I voted last night to reject these proposals and continue to press Ministers for a fairer option.”

Mr Morgan recently held roundtables with local care users and providers to better understand local issues and concerns, has asked a range of parliamentary questions on the issue and lobbied the Health Secretary on challenges the sector faces.