After Theresa May's u-turn on the 'dementia tax', everyone's making the same joke

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Monday 22 May 2017 12:00
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Theresa May appears to have done a complete u-turn on her social care policy.

The 2017 Conservative general election manifesto proposed that domiciliary care for the elderly be means tested.

Currently pensioners are entitled to care at home if they do not cross own more than a £23,250 threshold, not including the value of their house.

The manifesto proposed to make the threshold £100,000, but that it would include the value of their home.

Those lovers of property and the right to inherit your wealth and standing in society - the Labour Party - labelled the policy a 'dementia tax'.

Older voters, who have been repeatedly sweetened up by Tory Chancellors during the last seven years of Conservative rule, were less than impressed.

Many Conservative candidates, and cabinet ministers, were also irked for not being consulted about the policy.

The four days policy

The row back on the policy began on Sunday when the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said they would 'consult' on the proposal.

Confusingly, her welfare minister Damien Green said there would be no consultation when he appeared on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.

At a press conference to launch the Welsh Conservative manifesto, four days after she'd launched the UK wide manifesto, May made this u-turn formal.

In her speech she mentioned an upper 'limit' on how much a dementia ridden pensioner would need to contribute to their care (on top of the income taxes and local government taxes they paid their entire life to fund the NHS and social care).

We will make sure nobody has to sell their family home to pay for care.

We will make sure there's an absolute limit on what people need to pay.

And you will never have to go below £100,000 of your savings, so you will always have something to pass on to your family,

Despite this as yet unmentioned part of the policy, May - to the irritation of journalists present - insisted that it was not new.

Nothing has changed. Nothing has changed.

She also said:

What we have done is clarified that in the green paper… we will have an upper limit, absolute limit, on the amount people have to pay what they care

In the same speech, May argued that the people needed her to negotiate during Brexit, and that it would be chaos if Jeremy Corbyn or a coalition of Labour and smaller parties were to win power on 8 June.

The juxtaposition of this policy shambles with her claim that she provided stability, did not go unnoticed by her critics.

May also said that Corbyn's instability was down not just to his policies, but the fact he'd be leading a different government to the current one.

No time to waste. No time for a new government to find it's way.

By this logic, we have no time for an election. So why did she call one?

More: People are putting up 'Strong and stable my arse' signs up across London

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