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WATCH Tory minister re-ignites 'Dementia Tax' row with 'homes not assets' claim

Emilio Casalicchio

3 min read

A minister has re-ignited the row about the so-called ‘Dementia Tax’ after she said older people should not treat their homes as “an asset to give to their offspring".

Jackie Doyle-Price said taxpayers “shouldn’t necessarily be propping up people to keep their property” and handing it to their children “when they’re generating massive care needs”.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was “appalling that the Tories still want to force older people to pay for care with their homes”.

Social Care Minister Ms Doyle-Price made the controversial comments at a fringe meeting during the Conservative party conference.

They echo the disastrous plan in the Tory manifesto that would have seen assets included in the calculations when people contribute to their own social care costs.

Theresa May was forced to row back on the plan – insisting there would be an upper limit on what people would have to contribute – but it was thought to have been junked after the humiliating election result.

But Ms Doyle-Price said: "The reality is that the taxpayer shouldn’t necessarily be propping up people to keep their property and hand it on to their children when they’re generating massive care needs.”

And she added: “People are now well into their pension ages sitting in homes that really are too big for their needs and we really do need to start having those conversations about what’s appropriate earlier…

“We’ve got to a stage where people feel that they are the custodian of an asset to give to their offspring, but actually we need to get back to a stage where actually homes are for living in - they shouldn’t be seen as that.”

Mr Corbyn blasted: “The idea of a ‘dementia tax’ was rightly rejected by the public during the General Election. It is appalling that the Tories still want to force older people to pay for care with their homes.

“Labour will provide hope for older people and treat them with the respect they deserve by investing an extra £8 billion in social care and establishing a National Care Service to reverse years of Tory decline.

“It can’t be right that if you have a heart condition you’re treated on the NHS but if you have dementia you have to pay with your home.”

He added: “This is further proof that the Conservatives are yesterday’s party, with no plan to fix our country’s problems. Labour stands ready to form a government that works for the many not the few."

A Government source told the Daily Telegraph: “We clearly recognise that there is an imbalance in the current system with the way people’s assets are treated depending on whether they need domiciliary care or not.

"But as a party we want to be able to promote people passing on property to their children as much as possible."

The source added: “We are looking at social care as a long-term challenge and we will publish a green paper in due course.”

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