MP ANDREW Stephenson has welcomed raising the threshold of assets people are allowed before having to contribute to nursing care as good news for home-owners in East Lancashire.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt unveiled the increase from £23,250 to £123,000 as part of a package of measures to give older people “greater peace of mind”.

He also announced a £75,000 cap on the amount the elderly will have to pay for social care in England.

Pendle Mr Stephenson told Mr Hunt in the House of Commons: “I welcome your statement. Most welcome to my constituents will be the increase in the means-test threshold of state support from £23,000 to £123,000.

“Given that December’s figures from the Land Registry put the average house price in my constituency at only £114,000, will you confirm that these proposals represent a very good deal for Pendle home owners, most of whom are on low incomes and of only modest wealth?”

Mr Hunt replied: “That is absolutely the point. The group of people we are targeting with these proposals are not the most vulnerable, because they already get all their care costs covered if their assets are less than £23,000. 

“But the people one step up from that, who in many cases have worked hard, saved all their lives and paid off their mortgage, but have a house that is not of sufficient value to cover the social care costs they need. I hope that these proposals will be very welcome in Pendle.”