People in Yorkshire will still have to sell homes to pay for social care, Labour warns

The Government’s social care reforms won't prevent people still having to sell their homes to pay for care despite a manifesto-breaking National Insurance hike, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth has warned.

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the Conservatives have broken their manifesto commitments.

Mr Ashworth made the comments as Labour published new analysis suggesting homeowners in the North with significant care needs would be more likely to need to sell their properties than people in the South.

Under the Government’s reforms, from October 2023 no one starting care will have to pay more than £86,000 over their lifetime towards the costs.

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Labour research based on the median house price and average financial assets of people in different constituencies found those in Yorkshire and Humber could face costs of around half of their assets, including the value of their home, compared to just 17 per cent in London.

Five Yorkshire areas were named among the 20 places in the country with the worst ratio - Bradford East, Bradford West, Hull East, Bradford South and Rotherham.

Mr Ashworth said the situation was a breach of the Conservative manifesto promise “that no one needing care has to sell their home to pay for it”.

He said: “Tory MPs across the North, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the Midlands are imposing on their hard working constituents an unfair punishing tax rise which does not even fix social care, won’t prevent people selling their houses and risks care homes going bust.

“Social care is in desperate need, but the Prime Minister – along with every Conservative MP - was elected on a manifesto that promised to fix the system on a plan that had been developed and would mean no one would have to sell their home. On both, he broke his promise.”

It follows similar analysis by the Resolution Foundation, which found “the cap, which does not benefit households with less than £100,000 in capital, will be of relatively more help in the more affluent areas and will offer most protection to those living in high wealth parts of England.”

But as the planned reforms were debated in Parliament yesterday, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said the changes would “create a dramatically expanded safety net for people in their later life”.

He said: “Last week the Prime Minister announced a plan to tackle the NHS backlog, put the adult social care system on a sustainable long-term footing, and end the situation in which those who need help in their old age risk losing everything to pay for it.

"The Government’s plan will make an extraordinary difference to the lives of millions of people across the country, and it will be funded with a record £36 billion investment in the NHS and social care.”

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