Social care  

Javid claims 'nobody worse off' under social care reforms

Javid claims 'nobody worse off' under social care reforms
 Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

No person will be worse off under the government’s plans to reform the social care system, health secretary Sajid Javid has claimed, as he said the taxpayer will save £900m by introducing exclusions to the cost cap.

In a letter to Mel Stride, chairman of the Treasury Committee, Javid said it was important to reiterate that “nobody will be worse off” under the system the government is proposing than under the one that is currently in operation.

The letter, dated November 22, was in response to the Treasury Committee’s request for an impact assessment on the proposed changes to adult social care.

In a committee hearing last week (November 18), Sir Andrew Dilnot was asked how much it would cost to keep all elements of the proposed reform but not proceed with the government’s amendment to introduce exclusions for the cap. 

This was after the government published plans to exclude both the financial help people get to cover their care, and living costs, from the £86,000 cap on costs.

Dilnot suggested it would be in the region of £500m but the Javid said the difference was closer to £900m until 2027-28.

Javid said: “I also want to be clear that Sir Andrew’s evidence focused on what the maximum level of asset depletion that somebody could theoretically face if they received care for an infinitely long period of time.”

Javid said the full impact assessment for its proposals will be published early in the new year.

He added: “We are unable to provide information at a regional or individual level, as the funding at local authority level has not yet been agreed. 

“Our plans are just as good as what was proposed in 2015 for care recipients with less than £100,000 of assets with average length care journeys, and better for people in domiciliary care or whose partners still live in their home.”

When it introduced the health and social care levy earlier this year the government said from October 2023 no one would pay more than £86,000 for care.

But it has now set out that ‘personal care costs’ refers only to the “components of any care package considered to be related to personal care”.

Despite facing criticism that these proposals were “sneaked through” and will hit the poorest savers the hardest, the House of Commons passed the amendment with a majority of just 26 votes.

Under the reform, people will have to pay living costs, set at £200 a week, for life or until their assets are eroded far enough to qualify for help.

In his letter, Javid said setting daily living costs at £200 per week, rather than the £258 (as proposed in 2015 in today’s prices) cost around £600m in comparison to the 2015 proposals. 

In addition, setting the upper cap limit at the same level for all types of care, cost around £200m more in comparison to the 2015 proposals.

amy.austin@ft.com

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