SOCIAL care recipients could be facing a significant increase in costs due to council cuts designed to save more than half a million pounds.

Bolton Council is considering scrapping its cap on the amount people contribute to their own non-residential care, which is currently set at £300 per week.

Under the new proposals put before a cabinet meeting yesterday, the council would also change the way it calculates how much a person has to contribute towards the cost of their care.

Rather than only taking account of 95 per cent of a person’s disposable income in its calculations, the council would base its figures on 100 per cent.

In addition, Bolton is one of only three local authorities in the region that does not currently assess the full cost of care when an individual requires more than one carer.

However, the Care Act 2014 states that financial assessments should now be applied to the whole cost of a person’s care package.

The changes — which will now go out for public consultation — could mean some people paying hundreds of pounds more a week.

But town hall bosses have issued reassurances that no one will pay more than they can afford.

If introduced, the changes would save the council £550,000 — part of overall budget cuts of more than £12 million planned over the next two years.

Council estimates suggest that almost 1,100 of the 1,519 people expected to be affected by the new system will face an increase of less than £5 per week.

However, for people with high care costs and high levels of disposable income, the increase could be as much as £300.

The council is unsure how severely 283 people receiving care would be affected, as not everyone who currently receives non-residential care has had a financial assessment.

Deputy council leader Cllr Linda Thomas said: “For several years Bolton has adopted a very generous approach to the way we charge for non-residential social care, compared to other authorities.

“We have always said that we aim to protect the most vulnerable people in society, despite having to make significant savings year after year and we will continue to do so.

“If these changes are introduced, the impact on some service users will be higher than others, but no one will be asked to pay more than they can afford.

“We would appreciate it if people took part in the consultation to enable us to create a much fairer charging system for certain care services.”

At the town hall meeting yesterday afternoon, Tory leader Cllr David Greenhalgh raised concerns over removing the cap on weekly contributions, which he said was seen as ‘quite an integral part of policy’.

The council says that, following consultation, it may consider imposing a higher cap rather than removing it. Five Greater Manchester authorities have no cap on weekly charges, while the others have maximum charges ranging from between £289 and £419.