I appeared on the BBC’s Politics North programme. I raised my concerns about the government’s social care proposals. Contributions to the cost of care made by local authorities for people with assets below £100,000 will not be counted towards the new £86,000 cap on the cost of care. Anyone with assets below £186,000 that hits the cap due to high care needs will end up paying more, whilst anyone with assets above £186,000 will be unaffected.
In total the Government has cut £8 billion from the social care system since 2010. Ministers promised that nobody would have to sell their home to pay for care. Under this plan ordinary working people, especially those in the North East, will be forced to sell their homes whilst the homes of the wealthiest are protected. Including in Newcastle East where the average house price is £167,000 and so those homeowners will be hit with higher costs.
I voted against an amendment to the Health and Care Bill that changes the cap on social care costs. The Government’s majority was reduced to just 26. I also voted for amendments to the Bill including on ensuring there is a transparent process before contracts can be handed to non-NHS providers and blocking private providers from sitting on NHS boards.