Mansfield and Ashfield MPs backing of controversial social care bill sparks row

Mansfield and Ashfield MPs have backed controversial changes to a social care bill which opponents say is a ‘betrayal’ to the poorest pensioners.

‘Clause 49 considers council payments in the calculation of care caps and was backed by 242 MPs, with 246 against in a House of Commons vote on Monday night.

Ashfield and Eastwood MP Lee Anderson, and Mansfield MP Ben Bradley voted in favour.

Under wider plans from October 2023, those with assets less than £20,000 will not pay anything towards care costs, those with more than £100,000 assets, including home value, savings or investments will not get any council help, whilst those with assets between £20,000 - £100,000 will qualify, but will have to pay £86,000 to reach the cap.

The cost of elderly care

Opposition politicians argue it will disproportionately affect the less well off, as those with lower value homes, as in areas like Mansfield and Ashfield, but the area’s MPs assert “nobody loses out.”

Councillor Jason Zadrozny for Ashfield Independents said: “I’m disgusted that Tory MP Lee Anderson voted for our poorest pensioners to pay more for social care whilst the richer down south won’t. Our poorest pensioners across Ashfield and Eastwood will pay catastrophic costs, having to flog their houses to pay for care.

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“Boris Johnson promised ‘No-one would have to sell their homes to pay for care.’ Yesterday's vote was anther pledge broken by the PM and our MP.

"Someone with barely more than £100,000 in assets faces an eventual bill of £86,000 for care, those with significantly more assets will retain the majority of their property’s value.

"It’s another example of an uncaring Conservative Government and out of touch. It shows their levelling up promises are a sham and insult to places like ours. It’s a serious betrayal.”

Mr Anderson defended, saying: “Once again there has been lots of misleading reports in the media that MPs have voted to force people to sell their homes when the truth is people already have to use their homes and assets to fund social care, nothing has changed.

"What has changed is that people will now be allowed to keep more of their assets, the taxpayer-funded state will pick up the bulk of the cost.

“The new system is not perfect but crucially, no one will lose out. Everybody will be better off under the proposed system.

Ben Bradley MP added: “The narrative that people in Mansfield are disadvantaged by this Bill is not true. Nobody loses out, many will be significantly better off due to more generous support with care costs.

"Currently people lose all of their assets if they are unfortunate enough to end up in long-term care, under this system that won't happen. People will get help with costs if they have assets up to £100k, compared with just £23k now.

“Those saying that people will be worse off are falsely comparing it with something that doesn't exist. They are saying people will be worse off compared with the recommendations of the Dilnot Report on social care, that’s a policy report, it's not the system we have.

"Compared with the system now, people will keep more of their money and get more support with care costs. I supported it because it's a step in the right direction for people to keep their money.”

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