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Social care: Announcement delaying introduction of funding reform (including the cap) and other changes until April 2020 (England)

Published Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Government announced that it would delay reform of social care funding, including the introduction of a cap on social care costs and a more generous means-test, by four years from April 2016 to April 2020.

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On 17 July 2015, the Government announced that it would delay reform of social care funding from April 2016 to April 2020. 

This delay included the introduction of the cap that was intended to limit the liability of those self-funding their social care, and also the more generous means-test that would have allowed more people to qualify for local authority financial support towards the cost of their care.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department of Health, Lord Prior of Brampton, cited the expected £6 billion cost of the policy (over five years) at “a time of consolidation” as the reason for the delay, and noted the “genuine concerns raised by stakeholders”.

Although the policies of a cap and a more generous means-test were originally those of the Coalition Government, in its manifesto for the 2015 General Election the Conservative Party committed to introduce the policies and according to the timetable of April 2016 set by the Coalition. 

In addition to postponing the funding reforms, the Government has also postponed the introduction of local authority “brokering” on behalf of self-funders (until April 2020) and the new appeals system, both of which were also due to come into effect in April 2016.

This note applies to England only.

Further information on the background to the funding reforms, and what the reforms were intended to look like in practice can be found in the Library Briefing Papers:

Information on the current social care funding system can be found in: 

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7265

Author: Tim Jarrett

Topic: Community care

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