My Lords, first, I add my voice in support of Amendment 55, in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Lipsey. We have not fully taken into account the impact that the Bill will have, when it becomes an Act and is brought into being, on the many people who are now in care homes and where the funding of those homes will suddenly become much more public. Everybody will report to the local authority to get on the meter and the extent of people’s self-funding will become better known. There will be a sort of explosion if we do not get this right and do not allow people to make top-ups. What are we going to do: assume that some of these people will be moved from the care home that they are in and where they are, we hope, happy to another care home because there is inflexibility with the top-up system? That would be really cruel and I hope that we can get as much flexibility and remove as many restrictions on people as we can.
Several cases have been brought to my attention of people who are already in a care home running out of money. They, or their relatives, cannot afford the whole amount but want to be able to top up the local authority amount, which, at the moment, nobody is fully aware of. As this is all going to become much more public knowledge, it is important to have as much flexibility as possible. I hope the Minister will have another look at this.