Jeremy Corbyn claims Theresa May's social care plan is a 'tax on dementia'
Jeremy Corbyn has accused Theresa May of putting forward a “tax on dementia” after the Conservatives announced plans to shake up the rules around social care.
The Labour leader claimed the policy – which would see individuals pay for their own care as long as they had assets and cash worth more than £100,000 – was “attacking all the older people in our society”.
The figure would include the value of the person’s house, whereas previously the property was only counted if the individual was receiving residential care rather than support in their own home.
The Tory manifesto also sets out plans to means-test the winter fuel allowance in order to raise more funding for social care, something that Labour has pledged to protect.
Labour’s own election prospectus promises an extra £8bn on social care, spread over the five years of the next Parliament.
Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Mr Corbyn hit out at the Prime Minister.
“She is attacking all the older people in our society, she’s damaging social care in our society,” the Labour leader said.
“Millions of pensioners are betrayed by Theresa May's manifesto. She is hitting older people with a classic Nasty Party triple whammy: Scrapping the triple lock on pensions, removing the Winter Fuel Allowance and forcing those who need social care to pay for it with their homes.”
Labour’s election co-ordinator Andrew Gwynne pointed to the decision not to renew the 2015 “tax lock” pledge – which ruled out increases in income tax, national insurance or VAT – to argue the Tories offered “insecurity with a huge question mark over their living standards”.
The Liberal Democrats said the elderly “would shudder” at the social care proposals.
“Many elderly people currently will face the cruel situation of having to sell their home when they die to fund residential care home costs,” said Norman Lamb, the party’s health spokesman.
The Green party also branded the Conservative social care plans a “dementia tax”.
Co-leader Caroline Lucas said Mrs May’s plan to clamp down further on immigration was “cruel” and “economically illiterate”.
At the Tory manifesto launch in Halifax earlier, Mrs May said the Tories had produced the first “proper long-term plan for the sustainability of social care in this country”.