Prime Minister Boris Johnson has narrowly won a Commons’ vote on his social care plans despite criticism that the reforms will hit poorer households.
The proposals, which will mean council support payment will not be included in a new £86,000 social care costs cap, were approved by 272 votes to 246.
The plans were opposed by opposition parties along with 19 Tory MPs.
Under the plans anyone with assets below £20,000 will not have to pay towards the cost of support with washing or dressing at home from October 2023.
People with more than £100,000 in assets will pay up to a cap of £86,000 for their care with people with £100,000 or less receiving help but will also having to eventually pay up to the cap limit.
Money spent on living costs such as food, bills and accommodation will not count towards the limit.
Under new changes announced last week council support will not count towards the cap.
Health & Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid has defended the plans following claims that they will hit poorer people who will still potentially face losing their homes to pay for their care while wealthier people do not.
Mr Javid said “everyone will be better off” under the changes.
Liz Kendall, Labour’s shadow minister for social care, said: “Tory MPs broke the promise they were elected on that nobody would have to sell their home to pay for care.
“Instead they voted to tax ordinary working people, while the wealthiest in our country are unaffected.”
Stewart Stretton-Hill, tax, trusts and estate senior associate at Irwin Mitchell said: “The government’s stance that that everyone should pay less for their care under the new system is ‘technically correct’ but it will result in inequality, hitting those with fewer savings proportionately harder.
“Individuals need to understand that the cap of £86,000 does not mean that’s all they will have to pay if they need care. It’s really important to read the small print to see what is excluded from counting towards that cap.
“This can include care fees paid by the local authority, daily living costs, payments by the NHS for care, fees for care needs that have not been assessed by the local authority, third party top-up payments… the list goes on.”
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: “When the Prime Minister announced his intention to activate Sir Andrew Dilnot’s cap on catastrophic costs three months ago Age UK said that this reform was definitely worth having, but increasingly the jury’s out. Since then, the government has failed to give social care the financial settlement it needed at the Spending Review; announced a National Insurance increase to help social care and then admitted almost all the money is going to the NHS; and made vaccination compulsory for care home staff without any plan to replace the thousands of workers its own analysis says will walk away as a result.
“The fact that the government is now intending to effectively gut their proposed cap on catastrophic care costs is therefore just the latest in a series of wholly unsupportive decisions so far as social care is concerned. What are we supposed to think about the Prime Minister’s pledge to ‘fix social care’ now?”