A cap on social care costs would boost the Prime Minister’s bid to ‘level up’ the North of England, a study found.
The long-promised reform – potentially paid for by a 1 per cent hike in National Insurance – could be announced this month.
Health Foundation analysis showed a lifetime cap on care costs of £50,000 would help voters in northern Red Wall seats – won by the Tories from Labour in 2019 – more than those in traditional Conservative shires.
This is because homes in the North cost less on average. Therefore families pay a greater proportion of the value of their property in care costs than homeowners in the South.
The think-tank said a care cap would also help more Northerners pass on the family home to their children.
It comes amid speculation that Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are close to a deal on a cap.
The think-tank said a care cap would help more Northerners pass on the family home to their children
Sources said plans should be published before the Tory conference in October – but it could be sooner.
Sir Andrew Dilnot, who first proposed the idea of a cap ten years ago, urged the PM yesterday to ‘bite the bullet’ and bring forward the plans.
Ministers have agreed to set a cap, but a level has not been decided.
The Health Foundation research showed that without a cap someone paying for five years of care in the average Red Wall seat would end up spending 73 per cent of the value of their home, making it highly likely they would have to sell it.
But the proportion was just 43 per cent in seats that were already Tory in 2019.
Charles Tallack, of the Health Foundation, said: ‘Our research shows those living in newly-gained Conservative areas – the so-called Red Wall seats – would benefit most from a cap on care costs.
‘This is because they generally have fewer housing assets with the median house price being £160,000 – lower than that in Labour-held constituencies (£190,000), or older Conservative seats (£270,000).
Under the current system, these Red Wall seats are most at risk of losing almost everything.’ The study looked at the impact on people who have to pay out five years of care – around £117,000.
It comes amid speculation that Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are close to a deal on a cap
In the median traditional Tory seat (constituencies held before 2019) of Folkestone and Hythe in Kent, the average property price is £270,000 – meaning the cost of care is equivalent to 43 per cent of the average home’s value.
However, in Red Wall constituencies, the impact of care bills is much higher. In Dudley North, the median of the Red Wall seats, the average property price is £160,000, meaning the cost of five years’ care is 73 per cent.
In Hartlepool – snatched by the Tories in a by-election this year – care is worth a massive 83 per cent of the average house value.
Mr Tallack said: ‘Social care in England needs fixing. Currently, if you have assets worth more than £23,250 you will need to fund your own care. This leaves people exposed to huge and unpredictable costs, making it impossible to plan and prepare.
‘It’s also unfair because those needing the most care – for example, someone living with severe dementia for many years – pay the most.
‘A cap on the amount individuals pay for care would help fix these problems.’
Source: Daily Mail UK