Labour claims pensioners 'face care bill of £150,000'

Caps on the cost of care in old age could be more than double what was expected in new measures proposed by the Government, according to Labour. Calculations produced by the Labour Party show that pensioners could have to spend over £150,000 on care.

Pensioners face 'huge care bills despite capping plans'

Pensioners could still face huge bills for residential care despite the Government's plan to cap costs at £72,000, according to Labour calculations.

The Government's cap does not cover accommodation and living expenses, and care costs only count towards the limit at the rate the local council would pay for a place in a residential home.

Labour analysis showed that as a result it will take almost five years for elderly people to hit the cap - during which time they will have clocked up more than £150,000 for their actual residential care home bill.

  • In 2016/17 when the cap is due to come into effect the average council rate for residential care is estimated to be £522 a week, but the average price of a care home bed will be £610 a week.
  • The difference between the council rate and what pensioners actually pay will not count towards the cap
  • Pensioners in care homes will also have to pay £230 a week for their accommodation, which is counted separately from care costs and does not count towards the cap

Lamb: Care cap 'does not include bed and lodging'

The Government cap on care "does not include the cost of board and lodging", the care minister Norman Lamb told Daybreak.

Instead, the Government will set a cap on "the care that you need", such as "help with washing", the Lib Dem MP explained.

"Of course you would want to go further in having the cap lower - I understand that, we all want to do that, but it has to be sustainable.

"And the problem is we are all living longer and the costs of care keep escalating."

He added: "It's a bit rich for Labour to criticise it because over 13 years, they did absolutely nothing."

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Pensioners 'could face care bill of £150,000'

Caps on the cost of care in old age could be more than double what was expected in new measures proposed by the Government, according to Labour figures.

elderly person's hands
MPs will debate the Care Bill, which will enact a new system of funding, today in the House of Commons. Credit: PA

Calculations produced by the Labour Party show that pensioners could have to spend over £150,000 on care.

The Coalition has promised to set a legal limit of £72,000 on the sums that residents can be charged for care, saying the cap will prevent people having to raise funds by selling their homes.

But Labour say some costs such as accommodation and food won't be covered by the cap, leading to higher overall costs of care.

Doctors: Care Bill would allow 'back door' changes

The British Medical Association has warned against amendments added to the Government's Care Bill, saying they would allow the Health Secretary to "force changes through the back door".

Dr Mark Porter
BMA Council chair Dr Mark Porter said aspects of the legislation had been "rushed through". Credit: PA

Referring to ministers' recent defeat over attempts to cut A&E and maternity services at Lewisham Hospital, Dr Mark Porter, chair of the BMA Council, said:

"As we saw with Lewisham Hospital any attempt to use the failure of a hospital to force through change at neighbouring trusts can result in unnecessary strain on services, patient uncertainty and a huge cost to the taxpayer.

MPs to debate 'rushed through' care bill

Government plans to overhaul care are to be debated in the House of Commons today, amid criticism from doctors about certain aspects being "rushed through".

The Care Bill includes plans to give greater powers to a trust special administrator (TSA) and cap the cost of care to stop people having to sell their homes.

But the British Medical Association said TSAs will be empowered to also make changes in neighbouring trusts without consulting patients, clinicians, or the public.