MPs’ anger over “unlimited” care costs
Ministers had originally given a commitment to introduce a £72,000 limit next year as part of the Care Act.
But a few months ago, they admitted that the cap could not be implemented before 2020, amid concerns about how local councils will meet the additional costs of the new regime.
At the time, the Government came in for criticism over the decision to postpone the changes and now Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has demanded that concrete proposals are drawn up to explain what will happen at the end of the decade.
They said: “It is disappointing that Phase 2 of the Care Act had to be deferred and we are concerned that there are currently no firm plans for its implementation.
“Its deferral until 2020 means that people will have no limit on how much they have to pay for their own care for longer, until the cap on costs is implemented.”
Funding the cost of care for an ever ageing population has been a major headache for recent administrations.
There are concerns that many families are paying more than they ought to be, while councils have repeatedly voiced fears over a growing black hole in their finances.
A Department of Health spokeswoman sought to allay fears that the issue had been side-lined.
“We remain fully committed to implementing the cap in April 2020 to help people cope with the potentially high costs of care,” she said.
“[Last week’s] Spending Review gave local authorities access to up to £3.5 billion extra a year by the end of this Parliament, helping to put adult social care on a sustainable footing.”