MPs back controversial social care reforms

MPs have passed a controversial amendment to the health and care bill that will change the way the social care cap is calculated.

The government has been criticised by a number of its own MPs in recent days over plans to change the calculation of the social care cap. The new proposals would see those eligible for state support left unable to count the money towards the cap. Critics say the changes would significantly disadvantage the poorest in society.

New clause 49 passed late on Monday evening in the House of Commons, 274 votes for, 246 votes against.

Despite a three-line whip, a number of abstentions by Conservative MPs left the government with a majority of just 26, a sign of the discord amongst Conservative ranks over the changes.

Many Conservative MPs feel unhappy with the government for attempting to rush through the amendment. Chair of the treasury committee Mel Stride said: “I do believe that these measures should have been better ventilated in this House, certainly at committee stage, if not earlier.”

Edward Argar, the minister for health, argued new clause 49 should be seen as “a package of measures rather than in isolation”.