As Prime Minister Theresa May back-peddles on the Tory ‘dementia tax’ – Labour has pledged to stand up for older people.
In the Tory party manifesto the Prime Minister laid out plans that would force those who need social care to pay for it with their homes, but just days later she was performing a u-turn which leaves voters none-the-wiser.
The proposals in the Tory manifesto, on average, would ask a West Midlands pensioner to contribute over £50,000 towards their own care costs.
Labour has committed to spend an extra £45 billion on the NHS and social care over five years.
Labour will stand up for older people and has made five key pledges to ensure older people have the security and dignity they deserve:
- Secure pensioner incomes with the Triple-Lock on state pensions.
- Protect the Winter Fuel Allowance and free bus passes for pensioners.
- An extra £45 billion for the NHS and social care.
- No rise in the state pension age beyond 66.
- Justice for women born in the 1950s hit by five year rise in pension age.
The Conservative Party manifesto has promised three major new burdens to be placed on older people:
- Scrapping the ‘triple lock’ on state pensions so that pensioner incomes are no longer protected.
- Means testing Winter Fuel Payments to remove support to heat the homes of ten million pensioners
- Forcing those who need social care to pay for it with their homes.
Pensioners would be at least £330 worse off under the Tories’ new Double Lock had it been in place between 2013/14 and 2017/18, compared with the basic state pension being uprated by the Triple Lock. Under Theresa May’s plan, ten million people – five out of six pensioners – are set to lose their Winter Fuel Payments, worth up to £300.
Dr Matt Lamb, Labour’s candidate for Wyre Forest, said:
“The Tories really have it in for older people at this election. They want to ditch the triple-lock, take away winter-fuel payments for some pensioners and Theresa May’s been left back-peddling after the announcement of the Tory ‘dementia tax’ in their manifesto.
“But the Prime Minister – despite the u-turn – hasn’t clarified the level of the cap that older people would need to contribute towards their own social care.
“All voters have is what is in black and white in the Tory manifesto. I’ve lost track about how many times the Prime Minster has changed her mind in this election – who is to say she wouldn’t change her mind about a cap?
“The average cost of a house in Wyre Forest is £155,000 – that would mean on average, under the Tories’ initial proposals, that a pensioner could be asked to pay up to £55,000 towards their own social care costs. Leaving many previous little of their life savings to pass on to their families.
“Only Labour is standing up for older people at this general election, whilst the Tories are taking pensioners for fools by thinking their votes are already in the bag.”