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Kent MP could be among rebels to vote against government's social care reform plan

A Kent MP has urged the government to rethink an 11th hour change to its radical overhaul of the adult care system.

Under the change, personal expenditure unrelated to elderly care services would not be included in the planned cap of £86,000.

Kent County Council spends £1 million a day on care services for adults
Kent County Council spends £1 million a day on care services for adults

MPs are due to vote on the plans later today and the government could face a minor rebellion over the changes.

Some say the cap would leave poorer elderly people less well off while wealthier people would be less affected.

Ashford MP Damian Green is among backbench MPs who are said to have expressed disquiet over reforms to the level of the planned cap.

The government published an amendment under which support payments from councils would not count towards the £86,000 limit on personal care costs.

Mr Green was quoted as saying the government should drop the plans and adopt a system that would ensure people could retain a percentage of their housing wealth.

Ashford MP Damian Green
Ashford MP Damian Green

The former minister, who is chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on adult care, said: “I would urge them to adopt a different approach.

"I think it would be infinitely preferable to guarantee that people can keep a percentage of their housing wealth rather than having a flat rate applying to the whole country.”

Gordon Henderson MP Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP acknowledged that there could be an adverse impact on some but said the government deserved praise for its efforts.

“I would just say that at long last the government has bitten the bullet and brought in a cap," he said.

"Any policy you introduce is going to have its critics but you have to look at the broad brush decision and that there is going to be a cap.

Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson
Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson

"It might not be perfect but it is the best thing we have got at the moment.”

The reforms are among the government’s flagship policies and the Prime Minister said that he wanted to fix it ‘once and for all’ when he took office.

Under the plans, due to come in 2023, no one would pay more than £86,000 over their lifetime for personal care, such as washing, dressing and eating.

When the cap was reached, ongoing costs for care would be paid for by local authorities.

The aim is to stop families from having to sell the homes of their parents to fund care bills.

The pressures on adult care have increased significantly, with the county council now spending £1 million a day on different care services.

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