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Thursday, 18 May 2017

UK: Conservative Party Manifesto; Social Care Funding, Policy Risks

From BBC News - Conservative manifesto summary: Key points at-a-glance

Why many will pay more for care

Full Manifesto (pdf)

Conservative Manifesto 2017 PDF In Full, from The Huffington Post

Some serious issues (and risks) -

From The Telegraph (via MSN) - Middle-class pensioners to lose benefits under Tory plan to fund social care - "The flagship policy marks a gamble as it risks angering core older Tory supporters".

Theresa May redefines Conservatism, The Telegraph

-Winter fuel payments for pensioners will be means-tested and people will pay more towards home care visits to plug the £2.8 billion social care funding gap.
-Pensioners will stop paying for their own care once their savings and assets are down to £100,000. At present only £23,250 is protected.
-But a person's home will be counted among their assets when they are means-tested for domiciliary care (currently this only applies to people needing residential care) meaning more people will pay.
-No-one will have to sell their home during their lifetime, as they will be able to borrow money which will be paid back from their estate after their death.

From The Guardian: Social care funding: what are the Conservatives proposing?


"Are the details of the scheme spelled out?"

"It is not clear whether an interest rate will be applied to charges if payment is delayed until death. It is not clear how care will be provided when it is largely carried out by foreign-born labour and the manifesto pledges to cut immigration to the tens of thousands. It is not clear how people receiving care will be protected from over-charging by private domiciliary care providers, which may seek to exploit clients who can pay more once their home is included in the calculation of savings and wealth".

"The verdict?"

"The Tories are likely to to face criticism for making those people unlucky enough to lose out in the lottery of serious illnesses in old age being penalised again by having all their assets above £100,000 being sequestrated by the state.

Caroline Lucas, the co-leader of the Green party, was among many to call the move a “dementia tax” because someone with dementia who stays at home or enters residential care could find that their suffering is multiplied by state charges of between £200,000 to £300,000 after a four- or five-year stay".

From Guido Fawkes

Forward together to a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Britain that works for everyone.
The Tories are ditching pensioners. They stand to lose the pension guarantee, winter fuel allowance & control of their homes.
The nasty party is back! Theresa May has plans to scrap free school meals for Britain’s poorest children & a new death tax for the elderly.
It’s official: Theresa’s Tories have become the Labour Party.
Theresa May’s plans undermine the welfare state. A caring country should invest in social care not put the burden on those in greatest need.
Whilst the Tories scrap their promise to pensioners, we’re standing up for them. Vote for the SNP on June 8th.

"Tories 'won't look again' at social care plans, BBC News - The Tory manifesto says elderly people needing care at home would have to meet the costs but could keep £100,000 after the bill is deducted from their estate. The work and pensions secretary told the BBC it would still be "a reasonable inheritance" to pass on to dependants".

Will Hutton, The Guardian opinion piece - "Theresa May takes on the older voter. That’s gutsy, but is social care any fairer?"

Theresa May under pressure over 'dementia tax' social care shakeup, The Guardian - "Plan to make elderly people pay for care in their own home going down badly on doorstep say Conservative candidates"

Conservatives' lead halved ahead of election - Survation poll, Reuters via MSN

New warning over social care plans, BBC News

On the origin of the phrase "dementia tax", Guido Fawkes

FT: Theresa May backs down on 'dementia tax' social care plans -"After three days of mounting political criticism of her social care reforms and failure to consult with her most senior collegues, Theresa May has dramatically rewritten her contentious “dementia tax” plans. May has announced that she will put a cap on total care costs to protect homeowners from the risk of losing nearly all of their assets".

Euronews report - Clarification or U-turn? Responding to the backlash, May said that an as-yet unspecified “absolute limit” would be set on the amount that people had to pay. She described this as a “clarification”, though her opponents called it a “U-turn”. Speaking in Wrexham, Wales, where the Conservative party has experienced a surge in popularity since the Brexit vote, Theresa May said: “we will make sure nobody has to sell their family home to pay for care. We will make sure there’s an absolute limit on what people need to pay. And you will never have to go below 100,000 pounds of your savings, so you will always have something to pass on to your family.”

MailOnline - Boris Johnson peeks at questions before TV interview in which he hinted at softening of controversial Tory social care plans

May’s mandate melts, The Economist

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