Focus today was on Parliament. But as was just explaining on Newsnight just as important were the government’s announcements on the social care plan which were quietly unveiled as the PM was at the liaison committee....
There were two bits to the PM’s announcement back in September 1) a cap of £86k on lifetime care costs (though not complete as doesn’t include bed and board for care homes) and 2) the means test which helps households with less than £100k in assets pay for weekly costs.
What the government announced today was that those two things won’t intersect. Ie that the means test payments will not count towards reaching the £86k cap- only payments an individual makes themselves will.
If the means test had counted towards the kitty someone (poorer) in receipt of the means test would have reached the £86k faster and had to use less of their own resources to get there.
Best way of explaining is it by way of example- household of £1million in assets is unaffected, they found out what they needed to in September. They have the £86k cap and the state will pick up much of the rest over that sum. You probably won’t need to sell your house.
But if you have a household set of assets of say £80k, this announcement will affect you. Because it’ll take longer than it would have done for you to reach the £86k. So you have the means test to help with your weekly costs but it doesn’t help you get to the magic cut off number
That means at the least you’re going to have to eat into more of your own assets for longer and/or worse you have to sell your house before you get to the £86k to meet your share of the contributions.
The government says it has done this so as to prevent a person reaching the £86k too rapidly and unfairly- but others would argue that was the point of the means test. Effectively to help a poorer out twice.
The danger with a cap was that it was always going to help protect a bigger % of a rich person’s assets. The argument will be this change makes that worse. Ie person with a £1m house has much of their estate protected. Person with £85k house may loses a bigger % of theirs.
Interestingly this is a change which will have to be voted on in the House. Will be very interesting to see how it affects the already simmering tension between older/southern and newer/northern Tory MPs...
Government told us this tonight
And more here from Torsten (who we heard from in my piece tonight)
On this, Andrew Dilnot (who originally recommended a cap) told Parliament today: "I particularly regret the main announcement that was made yesterday which removes a central element of progressivity, which we did think was an important part of the structure.”
Dilnot went on: “everybody with assets of less than £186,000 would do less well under what govt is proposing than the proposals that we made and the proposals that were legislated for. That was a big change announced yesterday."
And, here's the kicker: "It finds savings exclusively from the less well-off group.”

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More from @lewis_goodall

17 Nov
Mr Speaker chastises the Prime Minister for the second time for trying to ask Starmer questions: "Prime Minister, I've made it very clear it's PMQs, not for the Opposition to answer your Qs- those are the rules of the game we're all in to, and we play by the rules don't we?"
"And we respect this House, so let's respect this House."
Prime Minister attempts to ask Starmer a third question about payments he received for legal advice when an MP.

Speaker forces the PM to retake his seat: "Prime Minister- SIT DOWN. I'm not going to be challenged, you may be the Prime Minister but in this House, I'm in charge."
Read 5 tweets
17 Nov
PMQs getting underway

Starmer: "Trust matters and after the last fortnight the PM has a lot of work to do. A central plank of this govt's promise was a cross rail for the North. With an entirely new line between Manchester to Leeds...will he stick with that promise, yes or no?"
PM: "He should wait and see what is going to be announced tomorrow.Because we'll produce a fantastic integrated rail plan...people will see what we're doing to cut journey times in the North East, North West and the Midlands."

Starmer: "That was a lot of words but wasn't a yes."
Starmer on Owen Paterson: "The Business Secretary has apologised for his part, the Leader of the House has apologised for this part, but they were following the PM's lead- so will he do the decent thing and just say sorry for trying to give the green light to corruption?"
Read 12 tweets
16 Nov
This drops from PM proposing MPs are banned from acting as paid political consultants (funnily enough) just as Keir Starmer starts his speech proposing the same (among other things).
Will be much focus on timing. Greater focus should be on the journey the PM has been on. In just a fortnight we've gone from govt whipping its MPs to suspend rules to protect an MP who had a job as a paid political consultant to proposing to ban them.
Starmer saying that it's about more than just banning MP being political consultants- they have a 5 point plan to clean up politics more widely.

Says he'll await to see the detail of what PM is proposing on consultancies before making judgment.
Read 5 tweets
15 Nov
Urgent Question granted in the Lords about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. Government will have to answer what action they are taking to secure her release and return to the UK.

Will be at 1515.
Question secured by Lord Foulkes.
Lord Foulkes: "Will the minister now confirm that there is no doubt whatsoever that the UK government owes the Iranian government £400m for tanks the Iranian govt paid for but were never supplied? Second that the PM when Foreign Sec said that that debt would be paid?"
Read 15 tweets
15 Nov
NEW: NATO Sec General @jensstoltenberg warns that “large and unusual concentrations of Russian forces are close to Ukraine’s borders.” Says that “any further provocation or aggressive actions by Russia would be of serious concern.”
Stoltenberg calls on Russia to “avoid any miscalculation.” Says that “NATO remains vigilant and we are monitoring this situation closely.”
Stoltenberg says de-escalation is essential. Says there much is going on in Eastern Europe about which NATO is concerned- the migrant situation in Belarus, Russian troop build up in Ukraine and political situation in the Balkans.
Read 5 tweets
12 Nov
👇👇👇 Steve Bannon charged with two counts of contempt of Congress after refusing to testify and comply with subpoenas issued by the House committee investigating the Jan 6th attack on the Capitol.
The Justice Department has said that Bannon is expected to turn himself in to authorities on Monday and would then be court later that day.
One count refers to Bannon’s refusal to appear for a deposition and the second is for his refusal to produce documents for the committee.
Read 4 tweets

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