The community’s residential care providers this week welcomed
Theresa May’s U-turn on social care after the prime minister went back on her manifesto pledge made days earlier.
Organisations such as Jewish Care and Nightingale Hammerson had criticised the major parties for refusing to protect people from “limitless care bills”, but after public pressure on May’s so-called dementia tax, she reversed course.
The Tory manifesto, launched last Thursday, revealed the party was planning to make people pay for care in their own homes unless they had assets of less than £100,000, including the value of their house.
It rejected a cap on social care costs but, by Monday, May contradicted the policy document after pressure from within her party, saying there would now be a cap, with the amount to be confirmed.
“I welcome the announcement there will be a cap on what people will need to pay for social care and that this absolute limit will be determined following a period of consultation,” said Nightingale chief executive Helen Simmons.
“I believe the cap would be a helpful starting point for discussions.”
The idea of capping the amount an individual would have to pay for care costs during their lifetime was suggested following a review by Andrew Dilnot into the funding of care and support in England.
Jewish Care chief executive Simon Morris said Dilnot’s proposal, while “not flawless”, was “the first sensible long-term approach to planning for, and funding, social care”. It was “disappointing” these plans had not initially been incorporated by the major parties.
Reacting to May’s U-turn, Morris said: “This has become an election all about social care. Everyone has woken up to the reality.”
He said a cap would “create a system where, for the first time, people could be protected from limitless care bills, adding: “I am less interested in the U-turns and election politics and more interested in the final outcome – a better and fairer social care system”.