Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The change in the social security ceiling, “sneaked out” by the ministers, “will hit the red wall and protect the rich”

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The Resolution Foundation warned that additional details on Boris Johnson’s groundbreaking reforms mean that the less affluent “could lose almost anything”.

This means that less affluent people may be forced to pay more for their welfare than they expected under the new proposals.

Social reform details quietly released on Wednesday mean that Red Wall voters in the north and the Midlands are still at risk of losing “almost everything,” Boris Johnson was warned.

The Prime Minister announced in September his breakthrough £ 86,000 cap on individual care costs, funded by a controversial new health and welfare charge that represents a 1.25 percent increase in national insurance tax.

The plan also included a more generous means test to ensure that less affluent people with assets less than £ 100,000 received help with their care costs.

However, according to plans quietly released on Wednesday, the government plans to amend the law to ensure the cap only applies to what individuals pay for their care, with any government support provided through means testing does not count towards the £ 86,000 limit.

The government said this would ensure that “people don’t artificially hit the cap faster than they contribute”.

But Torsten Bell, executive director of the Resolution Foundation said, “This tech-sounding shift could double your maintenance costs if you have around £ 90,000, but it doesn’t make a difference to someone with £ 500,000 protecting almost all of their assets.

“If the test question is whose assets will be protected by this reform, the answer due to this change is much more clearly wealth-rich than previously assumed.”

Mr Bell suggested the move could spark a Red Wall Tory rebellion in Commons votes on the Health and Care Act next week.

“I’m really not sure the government has thought this through,” he wrote on Twitter.

“They may not really win next week’s vote – Conservative MPs in North and Midlands have just been told that the cap on care costs will do much less for their constituents who could still lose almost everything.”

Sally Warren, director of the King’s Fund, said the Red Wall seats Mr Johnson took from Labor on his way to victory in the 2019 election have been hit hardest.

“As for the constituencies, the losers are in the former Red Wall squares,” she said. “The average house price in these constituencies is £ 160,000 compared to £ 270,000 in traditional Conservative seats.”

Labor shadow maintenance minister Liz Kendall said: “This fine print, snuck out from beneath a cloud of Tory mud today, shows that Boris Johnson’s so-called maintenance cap is an even bigger fraud than we originally thought.

“It has now been revealed that the poorest pensioners will have to pay even more, which Andrew Dilnot – who proposed the ceiling – specifically ruled out because it was so unfair.

“That this Tory government has failed to be honest with those who have given our country so much is a total shame, but it comes as a surprise.

“Our seniors deserve better.”

A Health and Welfare Department spokeswoman said: “We are committed to providing world-class welfare services across the country and we are investing an additional £ 5.4 billion over three years which will allow us to deliver a comprehensive program of adult welfare reforms start.

“These fee reforms will mean everyone is better off.

“Compared to the current system, more people are supported with their social costs, have more security about their payment needs and receive better quality care.”

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