Delaying cap on social care costs would be ‘cruel and wrong’, says economist who designed the policy
- Sir Andrew Dilnot said it is ‘completely unacceptable’ to delay social care cap
- The Mail revealed that Jeremy Hunt and Steve Barclay agreed to postpone it
- This means it is unlikely it will be introduced before October 2024, casting doubt
- Sir Dilnot said to let down some of the most vulnerable again would be terrible
The architect of the Government’s flagship social care cap yesterday warned ministers it would be ‘cruel and just wrong’ to delay its implementation.
The Daily Mail revealed yesterday that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Health Secretary Steve Barclay have agreed to postpone the cap for ‘at least’ one year in order to save money.
This means it is unlikely to be introduced before October 2024, and may not come into force until after the next election – raising questions about if it will ever happen.
Economist Sir Andrew Dilnot, who devised the blueprint for the care cap, said it would be ‘completely unacceptable’ to delay the plan.
The architect of the Government’s flagship social care cap, Sir Andrew Dilmot (pictured) yesterday warned ministers it would be ‘cruel and just wrong’ to delay its implementation
He told Radio 4’s World At One: ‘To let some of the most needy and vulnerable people in our society down again seems to me would be a terrible, terrible thing to do.
‘It will be a breach of the manifesto.’
The social care cap is designed to limit the amount anyone will have to pay for care in later life to £86,000.
Delaying it for a year would save the Treasury £1billion.
Council chiefs have urged the Government to delay the plans, saying that the cash-strapped social care system cannot cope with additional burdens.
Sir Andrew said families were already budgeting for the introduction of the cap next October, and warned it would be ‘cruel and just wrong’ to remove that certainty.
He accused ministers of ‘kite-flying’ ahead of the Budget on 17 November and urged people to lobby the Government to back down.
Martin Tett, of the County Councils Network, said the adult social care system was ‘creaking at the seams’ and already facing a £3 billion black hole.
He said council chiefs ‘broadly support’ the introduction of the cap but want it delayed for ‘at least a year’.
Mr Tett, Tory leader of Buckinghamshire County Council, said: ‘The Government deserves credit for grasping the nettle but these proposals will add to the cost and they will need additional staff who simply don’t exist.’
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