Committee (6th Day)

Part of Care Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 16th July 2013.

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Photo of Lord Campbell-Savours Lord Campbell-Savours Labour 7:15 pm, 16th July 2013

My Lords, my noble friend refers to the exhortations in the report to require the Government to carry out an awareness exercise. However, the reality is that there has been a huge spin on the whole Dilnot proposal. Many people, even those in care, believe that as of the starting date, 2016, everyone who has already spent something like £70,000 will suddenly receive free care. Of course, that is not true. It only affects people who enter the care system after a particular date. That is all part of the spin which has now led to a gross misrepresentation of what Dilnot proposes. Dilnot, while I oppose it, is offering a lot less than the spin suggests.

I want to talk about the reference in the amendment to the,

“implications of the cap on the cost of care”.

The implications of the cap on the cost of care are that there will be far greater transparency in the system, which was what the Minister told us in the debate that took place last week, when we debated the question of transparency. I argue that that transparency will lead to a lot of conflict between self-funders and people who are in receipt of support from their local authorities.

There is a group of people who will be over the means-test threshold but will pay the full cost under the cap. They will suddenly be confronted with information in this new regime of transparency which will give them far more information about what other people are paying in the home, what the local authority is prepared to pay and what the local authority believes to be a reasonable fee for care. That could lead to conflict within individual care homes and I wonder to what extent Ministers have taken it into account.

An amendment such as this is absolutely necessary because, before people are confronted with this decision when it comes later in this decade, it will at least give them some indication of where the truth lies and will perhaps bring an end to the misrepresentation that is taking place.