In the last parliament, a key part of the Care Act legislation was the Tory commitment to limiting care bills to £72,000 for the elderly and young adults with disabilities. However, it has been regrettably announced by the House of Commons that this cap on care will not be implemented until 2020.
This major ‘U-turn on social care’ has been estimated to cost the average taxpayer between £50-£100m to date. In addition to this, valuable time and great amounts of public money has also been wasted on updating IT systems, training hundreds of frontline staff, and managers as well as developing advertising campaigns in relation to the well anticipated reforms.
Such abrupt postponement to the cap on care costs has not been taken lightly by the Tory Health Committee as made apparent by the Chair, Sarah Wollaston’s formerly written complaint to the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. Wollaston’s announcement made it clear that Mr Hunt would be strongly questioned before herself, and other MPs in September about the sudden changes made to Tory legislation.
Furthermore, her notice stated how it was ‘regrettable’ that this decision was made during a day the House of Commons was not sitting thus leaving it unannounced until much later.
Many, including the assistant director of The King’s Fund, an independent health policy charity have also expressed concern about whether the delay will in effect mean abandonment of the care cap all together.
Overall, the Tories have been left facing tough questions from MPs, and as said by MP Liz Kendall this ‘shameful broken promise from David Cameron’ is ‘devastating news for older people, and their families who have been trying to plan for the future.’