PMQs: Boris Johnson's voice croaks as he speaks in Commons
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Later on Monday, MPs will vote on whether to accept proposed changes to social care reforms, which include cutting £900million a year from those who have assets of less than £186,000. Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said that these reforms will be “better for everyone”, however, Labour research suggests that the changes will hit the average home in 107 constituencies in the north of England and none in the south. Tory backbenchers, already angry at the Government for Tory sleaze and broken promises on Northern rail, are pushing for a U-turn on the plans. One “Red Wall” MP said: “It’s an inheritance tax on the north”.
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Additional reporting by Olivia Stringer
‘It made me wince,’ Red wall MP slams ‘crazy’ social care plan
The decision to cap lifetime care costs at a flat rate of £86,000 is “crazy” and made a Red Wall Conservative MP “wince”.
The MP told the Telegraph: “It’s crazy what we’re doing. It makes me wince.
“The numbers basically show that yes, you will keep more money under this plan if you are a constituent of mine, but only a little bit more.
“Unlike people in other parts of the country who’ll be able to keep a lot more.”
Good afternoon from London. I’m Tara Fair, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments from the House of Commons for the next eight hours. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.
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Public criticises Starmer for silence on social care bill
Members of the public have criticised Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, for not speaking out against planned reforms to social care.
Matthew Payne took to Twitter to say: “Still no tweet from @Keir_Starmer about NHS Bill. F*cking disgraceful!”
While gwen_m tweeted: ” On a day the NHS is about to be killed off by a Health & Social Care bill and Johnson made a career ending speech..What is [Sir Keir] tweeting? Business Business Business…”
Mayor of Greater Manchester criticises social care reforms
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has criticised the planned reforms to social care, which are predicted to disproportionally affect those living in the north of England.
Mr Burnham said: “An £86,000 cap will never be the fairest way of funding social care however you do it. Social care on NHS terms, funded by wealth taxes and a 10% levy on estates, is the way to go.”
Jeremy Hunt appeals to rebels
Former health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt has appealed to Tory rebels who may vote against the government today.
Mr Hunt argued that the “slightly more stingy” measure is still a ” step in the right direction.
Speaking at the County Council Network’s annual conference on Monday. he said: “It is very disappointing that the way the cap is going to be calculated is going to be changed, which means that it’s going to be a less progressive measure than was hoped for, and will help fewer people with lower asset levels than had been previously hoped for, and that is a really big disappointment.
“But, to people who are thinking of voting against the Government, all I would say is that once this cap has been introduced at this current level, it will be entirely open to governments in the future to change the way the cap is calculated to make it more progressive going forward.
“And I think the really important thing is that we have a cap which we didn’t have before.
“So we have a system in place, we can then have a grown-up political debate about the level that the cap should operate on.
“But would I choose to have the slightly more stingy cap that the Government’s introduced, as opposed to having no cap at all? Absolutely, I would.
“This is a step in the right direction, even if you know it is a disappointment that it’s not going to be as progressive as people hoped.”
Education secretary defends reforms
Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi has defended the proposed reforms to social care.
Speaking to LBC he said: “I spoke to the Secretary of State for Health this morning … at the moment, the system, as it stands today, if you have assets of more than £24,500, you start paying.
“Now, I think that does penalise the people who have the lowest assets, the lowest income in the country. We’re quadrupling that, so we’re lifting that to £100,000 in these proposals. It’s worth remembering that.
“It’s also worth remembering that something like one in six people get faced with catastrophic amounts of payment, and that can’t be right.
“The new system, and by the way … I’m the first to tell you that previous Conservative governments, previous Labour governments, have all bucked the issue, whereas this Government, this Prime Minister, is determined to deal with it, to give people a system that is predictable, that they can plan for the future for, to make sure that they actually get the help they need.
“Of course, part of that is making sure we’ve got that cap right at £86,000. We will debate it in Parliament.”
Asked if he thought this was right, he said: “I do, I’ll tell you for why, because I think you’ve got to get to a place where we can have a system that doesn’t end up with one in six people having a catastrophic financial crisis. That is wrong.”
Boris Johnson says social care plans ‘incredibly generous’
Boris Johnson has defended the planned reforms to social care, stating that they are “incredibly generous”.
Speaking at the CBI annual conference in South Shields, Mr Johnson said of the plans: “These are incredibly generous and they are much better than the existing system.
“Under the existing system, nobody gets any support if they have assets of £23,000 or more. Now you get support if you have £100,000 or less, so we are helping people.
“It is in fact more generous than some of the original proposals of Andrew Dilnot because it helps people not just who are in residential care but also people who benefit from domiciliary care as well.
“We are finally tacking a problem that has bedevilled this country for decades, been very, very unfair on people who have got dementia or Alzheimer’s and been forced to face catastrophic, ruinous costs for that care when somebody who has cancer or some other affliction does not.
“We are addressing a long-standing social injustice and it will benefit the people of this country.”
Public criticise Boris for not living up to manifesto promises
Members of the public have criticised the Prime Minister for failing to live up to promises made in the Conservatives manifesto, that no one would have to sell their house to pay for social care.
@SpanishDan1 took to Twitter to say: “The bill going through the house does not equate with his / your manifesto promise.”
Minister declines to guarantee no one will have to sell homes under proposed reforms
A government minister has declined to guarantee that no one will have to sell their homes to pay for care under the new social care reform proposals.
Speaking on Sky News, Paul Scully said: “There will be fewer people selling their houses and hopefully none.”
Mr Scully was then pressed by Kay Burley whether some people would have to sell their homes despite Boris Johnson’s pledge that his policy would mean they would not.
Mr Scully replied: “I can’t tell you what individuals are going to do.
“What I’m saying is the social care solution is all about getting a cap above which you do not need to pay – that gives people certainty.”
Ms Burley then asked again if the reforms would mean some people would have to sell their houses to which Mr Scully responded: “It will depend on different circumstances.
“If you hit the cap you will not have to pay any more money for your personal care – I think that is a fair, balanced approach for taxpayers and people who are having to pay for what is a really expensive, at the moment, form of care through social care.”
Shadow health secretary urges MPs to vote down proposals
Shadow health secretary Jonathon Ashworth has urged MPs to vote down the government’s proposed social care reforms, calling them ‘daylight robbery’.
Speaking to Sky News, he said: “If you live in a £1 million house, perhaps in the Home Counties, 90% of your assets will be protected if you need social care.
“But if you live in an £80,000 terrace house in Hartlepool, Barrow, Mansfield or Wigan, for example, you lose nearly everything.
“That is not fair, that is not levelling up, it is daylight robbery.
“We’re saying to Tory MPs, join with us tonight in rejecting this proposal and instead ask the minister to retreat to the drawing board and come up with something fairer.”
Mr Ashworth also stated the universal social care levy means that more tax will have to be paid by those not protected by the care cap.
He added: “You’re being asked to pay more tax for a system that benefits wealthier home-owners and you will potentially still lose out, still lose thousands and thousands of pounds even though you’re paying more tax.”
Former cabinet minister says government should ‘think again’
Former cabinet minister Robert Buckland has suggested that there is a ‘lot of concern’ on the Tory benches over the proposed social care reforms.
Speaking to LBC he said: “I think the Government should look again at this.
“We’re in danger of putting the cart before the horse.
“It’s far better to actually publish the social care white paper first so we can see what the new proposals are. What is the system that we’re going to be funding. Let’s have a look at that first.”
Red Wall MP ‘not particularly happy’ with plans
One Red Wall MP, Christian Wakeford has said that he is “not particularly happy” with the government’s planned reforms to social care.
Speaking to Times Radio he said: “What I wanted to see was a plan and it feels like we didn’t have one then, I’m not fully sure we’ve got one now, but then to change, to move the goalposts after we’ve already been introduced this, it’s not something I’m particularly comfortable with it.
“Especially when one of the main messages for introducing this levy was, you won’t need to sell your house for care, to get to a point where unfortunately you might need to and (it’s) arguably our least well-off in society, our least well-off voters, again it’s not something I’m particularly comfortable with.”
Health secretary defends reforms
Health secretary Sajid Javid has defended the proposed reforms to social care.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr show he said: “No-one will have to pay more than £86,000, doesn’t matter who they are, where they live in the country.”
“That’s where we’ve set the cap, so to protect you from catastrophic costs, because most people’s care journey is not that long, most people’s care journey is a couple of years.
“But one in, I think it’s around one in seven people, have costs higher than £86,000.”
Mr Javid also said there was a more generous means test in the reforms.
He said: “So what our plans mean, taken together, is that everyone, everyone, doesn’t matter where they live in the country, will be better off under the new proposals that we set out, versus the current system.
“Everyone will be better off.”
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