The Government announced last week, that it is to delay the introduction of the £72,000 care cap until 2020. It was originally due to come into effect next year and was designed to avoid people having to sell their homes to pay for their long-term care costs.
The delay follows a warning by the Local Government Association that the current gap in funding social care is running at £700m a year.
Mike Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group (York and North Yorkshire), said he was dismayed at the news.
“At £72,000 the care cap was well below the £35,000 that had been recommended by the Dilnot Commission to protect older people from having to give up all they had worked and saved for to pay for their care,” he said.
“It was always a compromise, now even that £72,000 cap has been postponed, sweeping away older people’s hopes of not having to sell their home to pay for care.
“Former care minister Norman Lamb talked of putting “risk and fear of catastrophic costs firmly where they belong: in the confines of history”. Unfortunately, those catastrophic costs are back to haunt us again.
“There is talk of the Government looking at social care in its upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review and it is vital for the care of older and vulnerable people across the country that it does so.
“But with this and previous governments’ record on social care, we won’t be holding our breath.
“The introduction of the National Living Wage last week will, unless it is matched by better funding in social care, put huge pressure on the very survival of many social care providers. Today’s announcement on the care cap is another hammer blow against the proper care of older and vulnerable people and something has to change.”