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Tories need to come clean on social care cap before election


Published May 29, 2017

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UKIP Economic Spokesman Patrick O’Flynn has demanded Theresa May and her ministers declare before polling day what cap they intend to impose on social care bills.

He has also suggested voters use Twitter to contact their local Tory candidate using the hashtag #whatisthecap to increase pressure for a further climbdown.

Mr O’Flynn last week led calls for a cap to be imposed after the Tory manifesto proposed taking bills out of the estates of deceased persons who had needed social care on a completely uncapped basis.

Following an outcry, Theresa May performed a partial U-turn by announcing there would after all be a cap. But she has so far refused to say what it will be or even give an approximate figure.

On Sunday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd failed to deny suggestions by Andrew Marr that the cap could be as high as £300,000.

Mr O’Flynn said: “I find it quite incredible that Mrs May and her team are asking older voters to back her at the ballot box at the potential cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds to their individual estates. If people use social media to pile on the pressure then I predict the Tories will buckle.

“While many older voters quite clearly consider the Prime Minister is a better leader than Jeremy Corbyn, she is kidding herself if she thinks they like her enough to justify voting for the seizure by the state of most of their assets after they die.

“Most older people that I know feel passionately that they wish to pass on to their children or others the bulk of the assets they worked so hard to accumulate during their lives.”

Mr O’Flynn called for the Conservatives to acknowledge the state should play a role in allowing people to pool the risk that they might need social care in their later years.

He added: “UKIP has made social care a public spending priority and has a costed plan to put £2bn extra a year into it. It is not unreasonable for older voters to expect ministers to commit to a cap on care costs that any individual would have to meet.

“David Cameron apparently backed a figure of around £70,000 and while this is still very high, at least it gave people a degree of confidence that they would not be stung for bills running into the hundreds of thousands.

"At the moment Theresa May is making voting Tory the equivalent of signing a blank cheque. That is neither sensible from her point of view, nor fair from the point of view of the electorate.”

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