More than 10,000 people will use up life savings or sell their homes to fund social care before cap on costs comes in

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson - Alberto Pezzali/AP Photo
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson - Alberto Pezzali/AP Photo

More than 10,000 people will use up their life savings or sell their homes to pay for social care before Boris Johnson’s new cap on care costs is implemented, new analysis reveals.

Presently, more than 400 people per month, or 13 people per day, are reaching the savings “floor” of £23,250 below which the state steps in to pay for their care.

Despite a 1.25 per cent National Insurance rise hitting workers and employers from next April, Mr Johnson’s £86,000 cap on care costs will not come in until October 2023.

Projections based on figures compiled by the NHS show that 10,450 adults in England will use up their life savings, or sell their homes, or both, to pay for social care before then.

Critics said the data shows that Mr Johnson has increased taxes on working families to pay for a policy that does not prevent the vulnerable having to sell their homes.

The same figures, published in NHS Digital’s adult social care activity and finance reports, show that 11,500 adults in England will have used up their savings or sold their homes in the two years it took Mr Johnson to reveal his social care plan, despite insisting he had one ready to go on his first day as Prime Minister.

The tax rise, which breaks one of the Tories’ key manifesto pledges, has faced criticism from Conservative MPs, dozens of whom voted against the policy or abstained when it was put to the Commons this week.

Opponents point out that the £12 billion a year hit to workers and employers has been imposed without any requirement for NHS reform, and will mean some young people paying a marginal tax rate of more than 52.25 per cent as the overall tax take hits its highest level since the war.

The Telegraph also reported that council tax in many areas will go up to close the short-term gap in social care funding, as all of the extra £12 billion will initially go to the NHS to clear waiting lists that have built up during the pandemic.

The Conservative Party manifesto at the last general election pledged that “nobody needing care should be forced to sell their home to pay for it”, yet the small print of Mr Johnson’s social care funding plan shows that only nursing care costs will be capped at £86,000, meaning anyone going into a nursing home will still face unlimited “hotel” costs for their accommodation and food.

Under the current rules, anyone with property or savings must fund their own care until they have only £23,250 left, after which the state will pay for their care. There is currently no cap on how much people can be forced to pay. According to one estimate, only five per cent of people needing care will benefit from the cap.

Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health and social care secretary, said: “Ministers are imposing a punishing, unfair tax rise for something that won’t even fix social care.

“In fact thousands of people paying for their care face going broke before any measure is introduced to limit liabilities. The simple truth is working people will be paying more tax for a care cap that doesn’t prevent people losing their homes."

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