Tories slammed for sudden backtrack on social care

Eilidh Whiteford saysTheresa May's plan to force older people to pay for social care out of the value of their homes has backfired spectacularly.
Eilidh Whiteford saysTheresa May's plan to force older people to pay for social care out of the value of their homes has backfired spectacularly.

The Tories have been slammed for backtracking on their proposed changes to social care  just four days after announcing them.

It comes after the Conservative Manifesto revealed plans to take into account the value of an elderly person's home when assessing their ability to pay for the social care they receive at home or in residential settings.

The move, which also proposed increasing the capital threshold to £100,000, would mean many more older people forced to sell their homes, or face a large bill when they pass away - dubbed a new "death tax".

But following a backlash, Theresa May said at the launch of the Conservatives Welsh Manifesto earlier today, the proposed changes would now include an “absolute limit” on the money people will have to pay.

The announcement was made only four days after the initial manifesto pledge was made.

The Tories have also brought forward plans to slash winter fuel payments while also abandoning their previous commitment to keeping state pensions in line with earnings and inflation.

Banff and Buchan SNP candidate Eilidh Whiteford said: “This is yet more evidence that the Conservatives are not strong and stable but weak and wobbly as they back track on a flagship manifesto pledge.

"Theresa May's plan to force older people to pay for social care out of the value of their homes has backfired spectacularly.

“By proposing this "death tax" on homeowners, by abandoning any commitment to keep pensions in line with earnings or inflation,and by announcing cuts to Winter Fuel Payments, the Tory Manifesto was a full-scale assault on pensioners' incomes.

"It's hugely embarrassing to have to change course only four days after a policy was announced - but no-one should be fooled; people in England will still have to use their homes to finance their care.

"In Scotland, thanks to Free Personal Care, everyone who needs care at home receives it regardless of income, which helps older people stay at home as long as possible, reducing the long term cost of residential care.

“And thanks to the protections set out by the Scottish Parliament, no-one is forced to sell their home to pay residential care home fees if their spouse or carer still lives there. It's a fairer, more compassionate approach which gives older people and their families greater peace of mind.

"This episode illustrates exactly why Scottish pensioners need a strong team of SNP MPs at Westminster to protect them from reckless Tory austerity cuts that will slash their incomes and ravage any savings they have."