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 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
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".
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.