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Capping Care Costs

Volume 573: debated on Tuesday 14 January 2014

Everyone will be protected against catastrophic costs by the insurance that, in line with the Dilnot commission recommendations, the cap provides from April 2016. We are currently considering the responses to the recent consultation on how the cap will work, and will publish draft regulations and guidance later this year.

Thanks to tough decisions from this Government, we can look forward to a time when people will no longer have to sell their home to afford care, but what can be done to raise awareness of this landmark policy so that older people, and indeed younger people, can be reassured?

I thank my hon. Friend for that question, and I am immensely proud that this coalition Government are reforming a grossly unfair system—something that should have happened a long time ago and is massively overdue. This Government completely recognise the absolute importance of an awareness-raising campaign, which will be carried out by local government, national Government and the financial services industry.

Ministers have repeatedly claimed that no one will pay more than £72,000 in care costs, but given that the cap will be based on the rate local authorities charge for care and not the actual amount people have to pay, will the Minister confirm that people will have to pay more than £72,000 and that the so-called cap is not a cap at all?

People can always choose to spend more than local authorities deem it necessary to spend in order to secure care. However, we are implementing exactly the scheme that Andrew Dilnot recommended, and when he announced his proposals they were welcomed by the hon. Gentleman’s own party as a significant advance.