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Care cost cap and asset threshold 'critical' to social care funding proposals

Reported in Care Appointments (7 July 2017): A cap on care costs and an asset threshold will be included in the Government's social care funding consultation, a health minister has said.

But Tory frontbencher Steve Brine stopped short of repeating his party's manifesto figures, which included a pledge to ensure a person's assets do not dip below £100,000 as a result of paying for care.

Mr Brine told the Commons a "capital floor and an absolute limit" on the amount people can be asked to pay are "absolutely critical two pillars that must go together". A negative response to Tory manifesto plans to make pensioners pay for social care by selling their homes after they died led to the Queen's Speech only referencing a pledge to consult on "proposals to improve social care".

The £100,000 asset threshold was designed to replace a £72,000 cap on contributions, recommended by the Dilnot report.

Tory Peter Bone (Wellingborough) also criticised his party's social care election pledges, saying they were only labelled the "dementia tax" by Labour as the proposals were "stupid".

Speaking in the Commons, Conservative former minister Sir Desmond Swayne asked Mr Brine: "What is the status of what was the announced Government policy that the Dilnot cap will be implemented in the financial year 2021/22?"

Mr Brine replied: "So the Prime Minister has been very clear about the importance of tackling this issue.

"As she said, we look after two million more over-75s in the next 10 years - we have to find a sustainable way of caring for older people.

"We will consult on detailed proposals, which will include a capital floor and an absolute limit on the amount people can be asked to pay.

"Our objective is that consultation will be to get the widest possible consensus."

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