Mark Menzies voted yesterday (Monday 22nd November) to support Boris Johnson’s controversial amendment to the social care cap, although a significant number of his Tory MPs colleagues revolted over the change, which was passed by 272 votes to 246 – a majority of only 26 votes. This 272-246 vote suggests around 100 MPs did not vote, meaning that there was a large number of Tory abstentions as well as those voting against the government.
The Prime Minister unveiled a £86,000 cap on lifetime care costs in September, which will come into force from October 2023. Anyone with less than £100,000 in assets would receive some state funding, while people with less than £20,000 will have all their care paid for by the state. People currently pay for all their care until their assets drop to £23,250, and some of it until they drop to £14,250.
But Fylde MP Mark Menzies voted for the significant modification to the offer, which means only the amount people personally pay will count towards the £86,000 cap – rather than the council support payments. This amendment means that the richest will see a greater share of their assets protected – and those who are less well-off could still be forced to use up their savings or sell their home to pay for their care.
Sir Andrew Dilnot, the architect of the original social care cap, warned will mean that poorer recipients of care, including those in the North of England and in areas with lower house prices, will be hit hardest.
Former Tory Chief Whip Mark Harper MP said he would not be supporting the move ahead of the vote as it ‘potentially disadvantages the less well-off and those of working age with lifelong conditions.’ Former Tory Justice Secretary Robert Buckland also said he would vote against, while Tory ex-minister Damian Green described the plans as ‘monstrously unfair’.
Shadow Minister for Social Care Liz Kendall said: ‘Tory MPs broke the promise they were elected on that nobody would have to sell their home to pay for care. Instead, they voted to tax ordinary working people, while the wealthiest in our country are unaffected. Once again Boris Johnson’s failures translate into working people paying the price.’