Department of Health dismisses Redwood paper
The Department of Health has rejected comments by John Redwood, who has called on the Government to shelve proposals for a cap on elderly care contributions.
In a paper, the former Tory minister described the plans as expensive and not value for money. "The cost will go mainly towards protecting the inheritances of better-off families," he said. "It is difficult to see this is a priority at a time of need for spending restraint."
The Department of Health said the paper, Care for the Elderly, was "misleading and inaccurate".
The Government earlier announced a shakeup for elderly care, saying contributions for social care were to be capped. It follows a previous announcement last month which stated that these plans had been abandoned due to cost.
Senior sources within both Coalition parties have indicated that plans to limit an individual's cost of care to £35,000 will to be announced in the autumn, playing a crucial role in the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley's Care and Support Bill.
The Independent reported that a senior Conservative source claimed David Cameron told a Cabinet meeting before recess that the Government "has got to" implement the recommendations set out in Andrew Dilnot's report into social care.
Speaking today, Mr Dilnot said he expected the Government to implement his proposals on capping social care costs. "I'm delighted and we've certainly made some more progress in the last couple of days. It seems that the Government has taken - albeit informally - significant steps to doing this," he told BBC Radio 4's The World At One programme.
But Conservative MP John Redwood said the £1.7bn cost of capping elderly care costs could be better spent directly on care quality: "I’m raising the question that if we can find another £1.7bn to spend, is the Dilnot capping proposal the best way of spending it, or could we spend it more directly on improving quality of care, the lifetime experience for the elderly who are actually in the care homes."