Tory candidates slam Theresa May’s ‘dementia tax’
Theresa May’s plan to make more elderly people pay for health and social care from their personal estates faces a backlash from Tory candidates for the general election.
The plan, which would see people pay for at-home care if they have assets worth more than £100,000, will be branded a “dementia tax”, and could put off voters, the candidates fear.
Currently, those receiving residential or domiciliary care do not have to pay if they have savings of less than £23,250, excluding any property they own.
One candidate said the author of the proposal “should be shot”, The Times reports.
Another candidate standing for re-election said it is “very hard to justify” the plan. “This plan was coming up on the doorstep this morning and there has not even yet been much coverage [on] it. It is very hard to justify, because people with a house of £300,000 could have a liability now of £200,000. I thought the campaign was just right until yesterday,” they said.
Bob Blackman, the Tory candidate in Harrow East, told the Evening Standard: “I broadly support the policy but clearly there needs to be a limit on how much any individual or family should be required to pay.”
A third candidate said the plan was “not great. Theresa should have stuck with Dilnot [which would have imposed a cap on the maximum amount that care users could pay] and an insurance scheme.”
Mrs May defended the plan in an interview with The Times yesterday, saying it was “fair across the generations”.
“I was thinking, if you have a situation where two widows are living side by side in homes of the same value. One of them, you know, they have saved up all their life and has over £23,000 in savings, now finds that they need care in a home and has to pay for that because they are about that current threshold.”
“Then there is next door who has perhaps lived the good life and doesn’t have those savings and gets in for free. And I think we are equalising home and residential calculations and setting the threshold four times higher at £100,000. We are being fair to those who have saved over time.”