The Government’s proposals for reform of social care costs have several strands, and it is important to see the amendment in context. The amendment specifies that the cap on the amount anyone has to pay for care in the course of their lives refers to the amount that individuals pay from their own resources. This seems to me to be logical and in accordance with the meaning most people would have given to that proposal. It does of course follow that if someone is meeting all care costs from their own resources, they will reach the cap more quickly than if they have had part of their care costs paid by the state, but to see that as discriminatory against those on lower incomes does not take account of the means test by which that state support is delivered and which will, by definition, benefit those on lower incomes. It also takes no account of other proposals being made at the same time, such as the reduction on the amount those who are in residential care have to pay towards their living costs which, when considering proportionate impact on individual resources, will benefit more those who have less.
I do think it would have been better for the Government to have thought his through and explained it together with the announcement of the original policy package, but I accept the policy argument for the Government’s position on this aspect of what is, overall, a welcome package of reforms which will improve the lives of a great many of my constituents.