Minister confirms £72,500 social care cap plan scrapped

8 Dec 17

Plans to cap social care costs at £72,500 from 2020 have been scrapped, the care minister confirmed yesterday.

Speaking in a Commons debate, minister Jackie Doyle-Price, said: “We will not take forward the previous government’s plans to implement a cap on care costs in 2020.”

Instead the government is seeking a public consultation on a green paper that will be published next year.

This will include proposed limits on the care costs individuals will pay, Doyle-Price said.

“In developing the green paper, it is right that we take the time needed to debate the many complex issues and listen to the perspectives of experts and care users, building consensus around reforms which can succeed,” the minister told MPs.

“That is why we are starting a process of initial engagement over the coming months through which the government will work with experts, stakeholders and users to shape the long-term reforms that will be proposed in the green paper.”

Andrew Dilnot, whose 2011 report recommended the care cost cap, and Kate Barker, who led a more recent review of social care, would both be consulted, she added.

Responding to Doyle-Price’s announcement, Izzi Seccombe, chair of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, said the most important priority for councils was funding the current system adequately before bringing in any wider reforms.

She stressed that councils needed to be “at the heart of all discussions” on the issue and highlighted the need for cross-party consensus.

“Difficult, brave and possibly even controversial decision-making will be required to secure the long-term future of care and support,” Seccombe said.

“We estimate adult social care faces an annual funding gap of £2.3bn by 2020. It was hugely disappointing that the chancellor found money for the NHS but nothing for adult social care in the Autumn Budget.

“The government needs to put this right and inject genuinely new money into social care without delay in this month’s local government finance settlement.”

  • Vivienne Russell

    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and publicfinance.co.uk

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