Government is betraying vulnerable if it doesn’t redirect care savings

In July the government announced a five-year delay in the implementation of the cap on care costs.

The cap promised to end the fears of many people that if they developed care needs they could face unlimited costs for vital support they were unable to live without.

A limit on the total amount anyone would have to spend on care would have provided reassurance to hundreds of thousands of older and disabled people with long-term needs for care and support, and peace of mind to their carers.

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In the years since the cap was first adopted as government policy, cuts in funding have put the care system into crisis.

Half a million people have been cut out of the system, and two in five services are now rated as “inadequate” or “requires improvement” by the regulator. This is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue.

It was in this context that many people said in July that the decision to defer the cap was the right one, since it would save £6 billion over five years which could be used to shore up the failing care system.

For the government to renege on a manifesto promise yet still allow the crisis in the care system to worsen is untenable.

If the spending review does not announce that all the money saved by deferring the cap will be redirected to reversing the decline in the care system we consider this will be a betrayal of the tens of thousands of people who would have benefitted from the cap and now face potentially unlimited costs of care.

Vicky McDermott

Chair of The Care and Support Alliance

Sheila Scott

Chair of The Care Providers Alliance

Rhidian Hughes

Chief executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group

Lisa Lenton

England director of the Association for Real Change

Caroline Abrahams

Charity director at Age UK