PLANS to reform the way people pay for social care in England have been voted on – and Southampton's MPs have explained their personal stances.

The Conservative-led government's proposals were approved by 272 ayes to 246 noes.

This tight result was due to significant opposition from other political parties and some Tory MPs, with concerns that not enough is being done to protect the poorest pensioners.

One of the main features of the reform is a 'cap' on the amount people will have to pay towards their personal care.

It will be set at £86,000, and after this has been reached, the local authority will take over the financing.

However, this does not include living costs such as food, energy bills or accommodation.

"The Government has made significant strides in protecting people's assets and savings and ensuring people who need long term care can receive it," said Conservative MP Royston Smith, who represents Southampton Itchen. He voted in favour.

"While this is not the panacea it is a step in the right direction and more progress than has been made by any government in the past."

But Labour MP Alan Whitehead, of the Test constituency voted against the reform.

He told the Echo: "I voted against the Conservatives proposed changes to social care reforms as I agree that it will hit poorer pensioners the hardest.

"After years of inaction on social care Boris Johnson has come up with a plan that protects millionaires whilst forcing working families to sell their homes for the care they need, it's unacceptable."

The Echo has contacted Caroline Nokes, Tory MP for Southampton North and Romsey, for a comment. She voted in favour.

As well as the cap, people will be eligible for some financial help from their local council towards the cost of care.

This is means-tested and will be available to people who need social care and have less than £100,000 in assets.

If someone has less than £20,000 in assets, then they won't have to spend any of those assets on their personal care.

The Echo has contacted Caroline Nokes, MP for Southampton North and Romsey, for a response.