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Boris Johnson’s controversial welfare plans pass despite party rebellion – POLITICO

A controversial change to Boris Johnson’s welfare plans for England was passed by the British parliament on Monday evening, despite a big rebellion from the Prime Minister’s ruling Conservative Party.

A government amendment to the Health and Care Bill that changes how an individual cap on lifelong social care works passed in the House of Commons by just 26 votes, despite a majority of 77 seats in government .

Nineteen Tory MPs voted against the measure while 68 others abstained from voting, meaning just under a quarter of party lawmakers did not vote with the government. The scale of the rebellion reflects the backbench’s anger at Johnson’s handling of the sleazy claims as well as the unpopularity of the changes to welfare plans.

Under the original bill announced by the government in September, all costs incurred for care would count against a new limit of £ 86,000 for the amount individuals would have to pay for their care costs, with additional costs exceeding this. total to be covered by the state.

However, an amendment introduced by the government just days before the bill was debated in Parliament changed the way the cap would work. The new legislation would exclude from the cap system costs paid by local authorities to poorer retirees on a needs basis, meaning that only costs paid by the individual would count towards their personal limit of £ 86,000.

The opposition Labor Party called the amendment a “scam” and said it would be unfair for low-income people who may have to sell their homes to pay for care. Several colleagues from Johnson’s party joined Labor in speaking out against the plans.

Mark Harper, a serial Tory rebel and former cabinet minister who voted against the amendment, noted the amendment of the bill “potentially disadvantages the less well-off and those of working age with lifelong conditions”.

Robert Buckland, who until September had served as justice secretary in Johnson’s cabinet, was among those who abstained in the vote, telling LBC radio on Sunday that he believed the government should ” review “the plans.

Johnson defended the plans earlier on Monday, arguing they would improve the current welfare system.

“In the existing system, nobody gets support if they have assets of £ 23,000 or more. Now you get help if you have £ 100,000 or less then we help people, ”he said.

The bill will then be considered by the House of Lords, where the rebels remain hopeful of overturning the government’s amendment.

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