Age UK's comment on the social care cap vote in the House of Commons, 22nd November 2021
Published on 23 November 2021 02:00 PM
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said:
"The Government's amendment may have been passed by the House of Commons but no doubt the House of Lords will fulfil its constitutional role and give it the intense scrutiny it needs. We hope Peers will vote to overturn it.
"No one disputes that the amendment significantly waters down the Government's plan for a cap on catastrophic care costs and does so in a way that protects only the better off. This is unfair and means the people who are most in need of protection against the risk of their care bills wiping out all their assets are least likely to receive it. Many of these older people whom the Government is now proposing to let down will have bought their council homes under the 'right to buy', an extraordinary situation for this group of Ministers to have created.
"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?"
We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI and our local Age UK partners in England (together the Age UK Family). We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.
Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances. We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well-being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle.
Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).