All but two of Lincolnshire’s MPs voted in favour of the government’s health and social care cost cap, but one member voted against their party once again.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson narrowly managed to get New Clause 49 of the Health and Care Bill Report passed through the Commons on Tuesday evening, by a margin of 270 ayes to 246 noes.
The clause is part of government’s wider social care plans, and it would mean that nobody in the country would pay more than £86,000 towards their own care costs.
It is hoped that this will help parents pass on more money to their children, and would see means-tested council support payments excluded from counting towards the lifetime cap.
This means that the only contributions towards the £86,000 that will count are those that come from the person themselves, rather than their total cost of care with the addition of benefit support.
It will now need to be discussed in the House of Lords after being passed through the Commons before it can become legislation.
All 270 that voted for the change were Conservatives, but 19 of Boris Johnson’s MPs voted against his wishes in the latest Tory rebellion.
Eight of Greater Lincolnshire’s ten MPs voted in favour of the clause, which would come into effect in October 2023, with Scunthorpe’s Holly Mumby-Croft voting against the proposals and South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes not recording a vote.
Former Labour MP for Lincoln Karen Lee said the new measures voted in parliament would mean “the poorest in society will pay as much as the wealthiest” in reference to the £86,000 cap on lifetime health care costs.
Scunthorpe’s Conservative MP Holly Mumby-Croft again voted against the general consensus of her party, just weeks after she was the only Lincolnshire MP to vote against blocking the suspension of Owen Paterson after he was found to have broken lobbying rules.
The Lincolnite contacted Holly Mumby-Croft for a statement about her decision, as well as the Lincoln MP Karl McCartney, who voted in favour of the cap, but neither have responded at the time of publication.
So what does the social care cap mean?
The proposed changes would mean that people with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 would benefit from local authority means-tested help, but would still need £86,000 of their own money to be contributed before the cap is reached.
If your assets are £20,000 or less, you wouldn’t have to pay anything towards care costs, and if you have over £100,000 of assets, you are not entitled to means-tested help and have to hit the cap with your own money.
Local authorities would meet costs that go beyond the £86,000 cap, reportedly being funded by a new health and social care tax.
The Prime Minister has insisted that these plans are more generous than the system currently in place, but it has come under scrutiny from opposition, who argue that poorer people will lose out from the change and be expected to pay as much as much wealthier people.