THE CONSERVATIVES' SOCIAL CARE PLANS - THE FACTS

The Conservatives have completely failed to tackle the growing problems facing social care, leaving the system in crisis. Under them, deep cuts have been made to local authority budgets that pay for adult social care. Experts have called the plans "deeply disappointing". The Tories' plans will lead to more people paying for care in their own home and will do nothing to help those struggling with catastrophic care costs. Their latest shambolic announcement on a cap on social care costs, provides more questions than answers and gives no certainty that older people won't lose their homes.

On top of this the Tories are looking to cut Winter Fuel Payments for vulnerable pensioners, something that even the Leader of the Scottish Conservatives doesn't support.

Q: Our country is getting older, but how bad is the problem?

A: Older people are being left to struggle on their own. There are now 1.2 million people waiting living with unmet care needs, such as washing and dressing. 400,000 fewer people are now receiving publicly funded care than in 2010.

Q: What are the Tories planning to do about it?

A: The Tories are planning to make people pay for care in their own home unless they have less than £100,000 in assets. This will leave thousands of the most vulnerable at risk of losing their homes and is something many are calling a "dementia tax". Tory proposals do nothing to protect those with long term conditions, and fail to put forward a long-term solution to deal with challenges in our social care system.

Q: What will the Tories' plans mean for me?

A: Under the Tory proposals, more people will have to pay for care in their own homes. Their plans mean that the value of your home will be used to assess whether you are eligible for state funded care in your own home. People will be left to fend for themselves and will be forced to use their home to pay for care, even if they are receiving care in their own home.

Q: What do experts say about the Tory proposals?

A: Health Charity, the King's Fund has called the plans "deeply disappointing" and conservative Think Tank the Bow Group has called them the "biggest stealth tax in history". The Nuffield Trust said that the proposals in the Tory manifesto on social care are "not a long term solution".

Q: What about this social care cap Theresa May announced only four days after the Tories published their manifesto?

A: In a chaotic turn of events, Theresa May went back on her manifesto after only four days and announced a supposed 'cap' on social care costs. However, she provided no figure on the level of the proposed cap, only adding to the uncertainty for millions of older people and their families. On the day of the manifesto launch itself, Jeremy Hunt went as far as to say that the Tories were dropping the cap because they didn’t think it was fair.

Q: Are the Tories also making changes to my pension and my winter fuel payments?

A: Yes. The Tory manifesto actually contains a triple whammy for pensioners, offering only insecurity for older people:

  • Pensioners will be left without the Triple Lock protection.
  • Ten million pensioners are set to lose their Winter Fuel Payments, worth up to £300.
  • 34 million people now face the prospect of working longer.

Q. Won't cuts to the Winter Fuel Allowance leave many pensioners at risk?

A: Yes. The Tories are refusing to be honest with pensioners about how many will lose their Winter Fuel Payments. Experts predict as many as ten million pensioners could lose out and even the Tories' own leader in Scotland refuses to support the cuts north of the border because of the danger it poses to older people in colder months.

Q: What would Labour do to protect me in my old age?

A: The next Labour government will not risk the care, security and living standards of pensioners.

  • The Labour Party will put an extra £8 billion into the social care system over the course of the next Parliament. We will create a National Care Service. We will put a maximum limit on lifetime personal contributions to care costs, raise the threshold below which people are entitled to state support and provide free end of life care.
  • We will protect pensioners' incomes by legislating to keep the Triple Lock over the lifetime of the next parliament.
  • Labour will protect pensioners' incomes by keeping Winter Fuel Payments and free bus passes.
  • Labour rejects the Conservatives' proposal to increase the state pension age even further. The next Labour government will commission a new review of the pension age, specifically tasked with developing a flexible retirement policy to reflect both the contributions made by people, the wide variations in life expectancy, and the arduous conditions of some work.

Make sure your family know the facts.

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Promoted by Iain McNicol on behalf of the Labour Party both at Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QT. Copyright Labour. All rights reserved.