Conservative minister accused of resurrecting 'dementia tax'

Tory minister Jackie Doyle Price risks reopening 'dementia tax' row

Tory minister Jackie Doyle Price risks reopening 'dementia tax' row

The footage shows the junior health minister saying people should not believe they are the "custodian of an asset to give their offspring".

The Tories shelved a manifesto plan to make middle class pensioners pay towards care they receive in their own homes after it proved unpopular with voters but critics have now suggested the policy is about to be resurrected and so people may find pensioners may be forced to sell their own homes.

The controversial plans appeared to have been sidelined when the Queen's Speech included merely a commitment to improve social care funding, but stopped short of specific proposals ahead of a consultation.

"The reality is that the taxpayer shouldn't necessarily be propping up people to keep their property and hand it on to their children when they're generating massive care needs", she told the Social Market Foundation fringe in footage released by the Labour party.

"We've got to a stage where people feel that they are the custodian of an asset to give to their offspring but actually we need to get back to a stage where actually homes are for living in - they shouldn't be seen as that".

The so-called "dementia tax" in the Conservative manifesto caused an immediate backlash when the party committed to "means-testing for domiciliary care" including "the value of the family home along with other assets and income" and separately "a single capital floor, set at £100,000" so that "people will always retain at least £100,000 of their savings and assets".

"People are now well into their pension ages sitting in homes that really are too big for their needs and we really do need to start having those conversations about what's appropriate earlier".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn seized on the recording - filmed during a meeting at the Conservative party conference last week - as evidence of the Government's plans to revive the "dementia tax" that was "rightly rejected by the public" during the election.

"It is appalling that the Tories still want to force older people to pay for care with their homes", Mr Corbyn added.

'It can't be right that if you have a heart condition you're treated on the NHS but if you have dementia you have to pay with your home'.

"But the Prime Minister has also said that where people have worked hard all their lives to build up these assets, they should be able to pass that on to their children".

We are looking at social care as a long-term challenge and we will publish a green paper in due course. "In the meantime we've put an extra £2 billion into social care to deal with some of these issues".

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