Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham reveals why he chose not to vote with Government on social care bill

Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham was one of a number of Conservative MPs who did not in favour of controversial social health care reforms.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 4:38 pm
Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham

Mr Higginbotham said "more scrutiny was needed" on amendments to the proposed £86,000 lifetime care cap, which will now exclude means-tested council support payments.

Boris Johnson narrowly succeeded in winning his Commons vote, despite 18 Tory MPs voting against it and dozens recording no vote.

In September, the Government announced that individual care costs would be capped at £86,000 from October 2023, as part of major social care reforms.

It also said that people with assets up to £20,000 will not have to contribute anything to their care (up from £14,250), while those with assets to £100,000 will be eligible to receive some local authority support (up from £23,250).

However, in a policy paper released last week, the Government said that for people who receive financial support for part of their care from their local authority, only the share they contribute themselves will go towards the £86,000 cap.

Labour and opposition parties argue that poorer people will now lose out because of these changes.

Mr Higginbotham said: "The social care plans announced by the Government in September are a big step in the right direction, ending the current unlimited costs a family in Burnley can face for social care and introducing a cap for the first time.

"But I also think more scrutiny is needed on the technical changes announced last week, to ensure they are beneficial to residents, and I made this clear to senior colleagues in Government. As such, I wasn’t able to support the amendment at this stage.

"I will be following proceedings in the House of Lords before it then comes back to us in the Commons in due course."