FAMILIES in East Lancashire are set to be hit by social care costs that could cost them their homes, according to Labour leader Keir Starmer.

This comes after controversial changes made to the government's social care plan this week which originally promised to place a cap of £86,000 on what someone has to pay for social care over their lifetime.

But the changes mean that only the costs paid by a person themselves will count towards this cap, with anything a local council contributes not counted, which means poorer people who depend more on local government assistance will struggle.

Mr Starmer said: "We've looked at this and the promise made by the Prime Minister is that no one will have to sell their house.

"But if an individual's family is asked to raise £86,000, that individual's family is going to have to sell their house."

He added: "If you're in East Lancashire, if you're in Bolton, if you're in Bury, there's a very real cost of living crisis this winter."

Mr Starmer said that the proposals amounted to a "working class dementia tax."

Mr Starmer said: "You work all your life and then you retire and maybe need care and you are whacked by social care costs."

He claims that this, along with recent cancellation to parts of the HS2 and Northern Powerhouse rail projects amounts to a "betrayal" of voters in Northern seats, which in many areas like Hyndburn, Burnley and Pendle, voted Conservative for the first time in 2019.

Mr Starmer said: "Very many people across East Lancashire, Bolton and Bury would have voted in good faith for this government and I think they have been betrayed by the prime minister."

He added: "Now if you're in East Lancashire, Bolton and Bury there's a high likelihood that you will have to sell your house."

According to the proposed system, a person with assets worth £100,000, most of it tied up in their own home, will contribute 80 per cent of their wealth to care costs and as such is likely to lose their home.

But someone with assets worth £1,000,000 would lose less than 10 per cent of their wealth, and therefore be more likely to keep their home.

A Lancashire Association of Trades Union Councils spokesperson said: "The effect of this is that a large number of people in Lancashire will get less protection and support than people with much higher house values or savings."

They added: "The long-term aim should be for adult social care as a universal service, free at the point of use, and paid for from general taxation.

"This would remove arbitrary and unfair eligibility thresholds, relieve unpaid carers of their invisible labour, and deliver higher quality care and sustainable funding."

But according to Boris Johnson the plans still do more to help tackle the social care crisis than anything done by previous Labour governments.

Addressing the House of Commons, he said: "This does more for working people up and down the country than Labour ever did because we’re actually solving the problem that they failed to address."