WORCESTER MP Robin Walker has defended his vote in favour of controversial social care reforms.

MPs voted 272 to 246, creating a majority of 26, in favour of adding the proposal to the Health and Care Bill.

A total of 18 Conservative MPs voted against the plans, which have been criticised for ‘disproportionately’ effecting the poorest recipients of care.

Speaking on the reforms, Robin Walker said: "I am proud to support a government that is committed to taking the difficult decisions and tackling the problem of adult social care provision head on.

"It needs to work better for those who use it and for those caring for others.

"The bill creates a system which is fairer, and will provide better care to people in areas of lower income."

Boris Johnson announced a cap on care costs for adults in England in September, promising to “fix the crisis in social care”.

The prime minister promised a limit of £86,000 on how much an individual will have to pay for their personal care over their lifetime.

Last week, the government announced it was introducing an amendment to the reforms which suggested only the amount someone personally contributes to their care costs will count towards the £86,000 cap.

This means anything the individual's local authority contributes will not be counted.

As well as the cap, people who need social care and have less than £100,000 in assets will be eligible for means tested help from their local government.

If someone has less than £20,000 in assets, they won’t be expected to spend any of those assets on social care.

However, questions have since been posed as to when someone’s home counts towards the ‘assets’ which may be used to pay for care.

According to the latest plan, if you go into a care home and you do not have a spouse living in your home, then the value of your home is counted towards your assets and you may have to sell it, although there are schemes that allow you to defer the costs, and for the property to be sold after you die.

This means someone owning a property to the value of £106,000 receiving over £86,000s worth of care could end up having their estate reduced to £20,000, whereas someone owning a property to the value of £500,000 would be able to leave a much greater chunk of their assets – £416,000 – to their next of kin.

Critics have said this is a U-turn from the Conservative’s 2019 manifesto, which pledged "nobody needing care should be forced to sell their home to pay for it".

However, Mr Walker said this package represents a “workable and affordable solution to a long standing issue".

"Despite looking, no solutions to the problems of providing adult social care have been found over successive governments, and this bill includes a package of measures that will address many of the challenges facing the system in a way that is workable and affordable,” he added.

"The situation at present means that care costs are unpredictable and can be catastrophic for families required to make difficult financial decisions at a time when tough decisions are already being required about the care of loved ones.

"By introducing a limit of £86,000 on the amount people will have to pay for their own care, people will no longer have the fear of potentially unlimited care costs.

"The ‘floor’ for support paying for care is also going up, meaning those with assets of less than £20,000, and means tested support will be provided for those with up to £100,000 in assets. That is a major improvement from the current system that only supports people with less than £23,500 worth of assets.

"By grasping this nettle now, as we promised to in our 2019 manifesto, we are ensuring that no one will be forced to spend more than £86,000 on their personal care costs in their lifetime."