THE Tories almost lost the 2017 election because of the ‘Dementia Tax’. They went into that election with a 20 per cent-plus lead in the polls. Theresa May eyed her opportunity to get a large majority, which she could then use to break the deadlock in Parliament over Brexit. She ended up depending on the DUP to get some of her programme through and her failure to deliver Brexit brought her down as PM.
You would expect the Tories to have learned their lesson.
Not at all. Amazingly, last night they backed plans to re-introduce the ‘Dementia Tax’, and the poorest will be hit hardest. Someone who owns a house worth a million pounds would be able to protect more than 90 per cent of their asset, while someone with a home valued at £70,000 in a less wealthy part of the country would lose almost everything.
Analysis by the Observer shows that almost three-quarters of the seats the Tories won from Labour at the last election will be among those hit hardest by these changes.
Sir Andrew Dilnot, former director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said that about 60 per cent of older people who end up needing social care would lose out under the Government’s plans.
‘The people most harshly affected by this change are those with assets of exactly £106,000,’ he said. ‘But everybody with assets of less than £186,000 would do less well under what the government is proposing than under the proposals we made and that were legislated for. That was a big change. It finds savings exclusively from the less well-off group.’
Boris Johnson has promised to sort out the financing of Social Care. Instead he is making it worse for most older people. It’s another Tory broken promise.
Johnson needs to be very careful with this one. The thought that the poorest elderly will have to sell their home to fund their social care at the end of their life, but the wealthier pensioners won’t, is potentially lethal to the Tories.
If they don’t want to commit political hari kari again, as they did in 2017, they need to think again, and quickly.