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Care cap could cost pensioners £150,000

Pensioners could spend £150,000 on care before the government’s cap on costs comes into effect, the Labour Party has warned.

The figures are published as MPs vote on the Care Bill at its second reading today.

New calculations show that exceptions to the cap – including hotel and accommodation expenses, food, and utility bills – could see older people paying far more than the £72,000 limit due to be introduced from April 2016.

The cost difference between care homes which charge higher fees than a pensioner’s council pays for care will have to be paid for by individuals, and will not count towards the cap. This means a typical care resident is likely to pay £610 a week, with only £292 counting towards the cap, Labour said.

Liz Kendall, shadow care minister, said: “It is not right to raise people’s hopes about what costs will be covered when in reality it will be very different.

“All the people who have worked hard and saved all their lives, have a modest home and modest savings, are going to see very little benefit from these changes.” 

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK says: “To understand how much the Government’s proposed social care reforms will help older people and their families you have to read the small print.

“Though it can still be improved, the Care Bill is fundamentally good legislation, but it won’t make much practical difference without the funding to bring it to life.

“At the moment we fear the reforms will be underfunded, but it is not too late for the Government to act. Ensuring older and disabled people get the care they need is what really matters.”

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