'Those with less, lose more' - why social care bill is unfair

File photo dated 04/09/21 of a care home resident holding hands with her daughter. The Government ha

David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, believes those with fewer assets will be worse off under the social care plan - Credit: PA

I’ve written previously about how unfair Boris Johnson’s social care plan is.

Last week Conservative MPs voted to make it even more unfair.

Previously the Government had said that, once someone had paid £86,000 towards the cost of their care, their assets would be safe. This was originally supposed to include any means tested help. Now the full £86,000 must be paid by an individual.

The result is that people with less money and cheaper homes will end up losing a far greater share of their savings and are still likely to have to eventually sell their homes to pay for their care.

The Conservative Manifesto in 2019 General Election promised: “Nobody needing care should be forced to sell their home to pay for it.”

Boris Johnson repeated this promise when he first unveiled his plans. He has now been forced to admit that this been watered down to: “no one will be forced to sell a home they or their spouse is living in as it will not be counted as an asset”.

What he is less prepared to admit is that this is already the situation today: no one is forced to sell the home they are living in but, as soon as they move out, then it counts towards the bills.

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From April, people on the very lowest incomes – already suffering from higher food, energy and fuel prices – will have to pay more in National Insurance but will see no benefit because they were already eligible for help with care.

All that’s left of Boris Johnson’s care plan is a massive tax hike on people with the lowest incomes, that leaves some of the richest people untouched. It benefits people living in the largest houses while taking more from those in modest properties.

It is a massive redistribution of money from people who have little money to people who already have lots.

In Suffolk, Ipswich and Lowestoft are the two areas which will be most affected by this change. So, it’s no surprise that Waveney MP Peter Aldous voted against it. What’s less clear is why Ipswich’s Conservative MP Tom Hunt voted in favour of it.

The Conservative MP for central Suffolk and North Ipswich, Dr Dan Poulter, also voted against the social care funding proposals.