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Streeting insists Labour will cap adult social care costs despite pledge not appearing in party manifesto

A CAP on adult social care costs is part of Labour’s plan if they win the election, shadow health and social care secretary Wes Streeting insisted today.

But the pledge did not appear in the party’s manifesto when it was published a day earlier.

An £86,000 cap on the amount anyone in England has to spend on their personal care over their lifetime as part of social care reforms was promised by the Conservative government from October 2023 but then delayed by two years.

Mr Streeting was asked today whether he could make a firm commitment to bringing in the cap in October 2025.

He told BBC Radio Four: “That’s the plan, as things stand.”

When put to him that did not sound like a firm commitment, he responded: “We don’t have any plans to change that situation and that’s the certainty and stability I want to give the system at this stage.”

Labour’s manifesto did pledge to create a previously suggested national care service, and a fair pay agreement, setting pay, terms and conditions.

The Nuffield Trust said while a commitment to a new national set of standards and a focus on reaching a fair pay agreement for the workforce is welcome “this is overshadowed by the lack of a costed plan for social care” as well as a “seeming lack of recognition of the need for urgent action.”

It added: “The ambition of a national care service has little detail, isn’t well defined and there is no mention of a credible long-term funding model for social care.

“Unpaid carers — who deliver high-quality compassionate care for their friends and families every day — are notable by their absence.”

Age UK said there appear to be “no new commitments” for adult social care and that incoming ministers will be under “huge pressure to act fast to put flesh on the bones of the ‘plan for a plan’ so far outlined.”

Labour has also pledged to “develop local partnership working between the NHS and social care on hospital discharge.”

Mr Streeting said they want to “get people who are fit for discharge out of hospital, back home or back into the community which would be better for them but also better for the taxpayer.”

Keep Our NHS Public co-chairman Dr John Puntis said that any shift of care into the community without funding is “both unconvincing and far from novel.”

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