SCOTTISH Conservative MPs have voted through controversial changes to social care reforms which will hit poorer pensioners in England.

Five of the party’s six MPs at Westminster voted through clause 49 of the Health and Social Care Bill, which changes the way England’s social care cap is calculated.

In September, the UK Government announced that a £86,000 cap on lifetime care costs will be put into place from October 2023.

However, a policy paper last week showed that only personal contributions will count towards that cap for people who receive financial support from a local authority for some of their care.

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Conservative ministers were left unable to say whether the change to the £86,000 cap on care costs would fulfil an election pledge to guarantee no-one would have to sell their home to pay for care.

According to critics, the change to the plans will hit the poorest recipients of social care the hardest. The architect of the original cap, Sir Andrew Dilnot, warned that people living in northern England and other areas with low house prices would be the worst affected.

Calculations in the Manchester Evening News say on average, homeowners who require social care in the most deprived areas of the north will need to spend at least 60% of their eligible property value – while those in wealthy southern areas will need to pay just 20%.

The National:

Justin Madders (above), Labour’s shadow health minister, told the Chamber: "We always thought levelling up was just a slogan with little substance to it, but now we know its actually worse than that, it is in fact a con trick, a lie, that will leave many of those who it was meant to be supporting worse off.

"There is no plan to fix social care, this Bill won’t stop people having to sell their homes, and the only people it will help are those already comfortably well off.

“This isn’t just a few people in those constituencies who will lose out – it’s thousands of people in each constituency, mainly in the Midlands and the North of England, who will be forced to sell their homes whilst those in more affluent areas of the country get to keep theirs."

Johnson insisted the plans are more generous than the current system. “Under the existing system nobody gets any support if they have assets of £23,000 or more. Now you get support if you have £100,000 or less, so we are helping people,” he told MPs.

Despite 19 Tory MPs rebelling and rejecting Boris Johnson’s proposals, and dozens refusing to vote at all, the proposals passed the Commons by 272 to 246.

Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, did not vote.

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Meanwhile Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, his predecessor David Mundell, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP John Lamont and Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid all supported the Government’s plans.

The Scottish Conservatives have been contacted for comment.

Overall 19 Tory MPs including former Cabinet secretary Esther McVey and former chief whip Mark Harper rebelled against the Government.

Senior Conservative William Wragg and NHS doctor Dan Poulter were also among the Tories to vote against the change, as were Christian Wakeford and Mark Jenkinson, two MPs who seized former Labour strongholds in the north for the Tories.